Inherently, building is not environmentally friendly with all required materials and energy use. Homes are essential, however, and can be tackled in environmentally friendly ways to minimise carbon footprint and potential environmental implications.
Simply using products and materials that are recyclable, reusable, save energy and water can achieve this. Without a doubt, an eco-friendly home is within reach for either new-builds or renovation projects. While reaping environmental and ecological benefits from sustainable building, there are other advantages to designing your new or renovated home in an eco-friendly manner. Often, modern environmentally conscious materials and products are on-trend and result in architecturally remarkable homes.
Sustainable building ensures that a home is designed and built with careful conscious thought on potential ecological and environmental effects. At Korben Homes, our primary consideration for clients who are wanting to build sustainably, is to maintain high quality and reduce ecological impact where possible.
If thinking about a sustainable build, the dimensions of the house, it’s orientation on site and the impacts of the house on the surrounding environment ought to be taken into account. The foremost aspect to consider is the house and it’s orientation in relation to the Sun. Having the perfect exposure to the Sun in particular areas of the home can lead to better outcomes for clients, not only sustainably, but economically too. Enough sun in winter-time means less heating required and enough sun in summer means less cooling required – overall, leading to a net reduction in energy. Sun exposure can be achieved by incorporating more or less windows and skylights throughout the home. Another aspect of the home to think about with regard to site design is how vegetation (such as trees and bush) can be used for shade and temperature control. This aspect, in conjunction with utilising Sun exposure and orientation, will be useful to the home for years to come, particularly with energy-saving.
Insulation and ventilation are highly important for a healthy sustainable home. High quality insulation that is well-installed results in the house being cheaper and easier to heat, which is perfect for winter. Installing insulation with higher ratings than the minimum requirement can achieve this. Ventilation is also key. Having good ventilation throughout the home is paramount for a healthy home. A quality ventilation system avoids health problems such as asthma and eczema. Not only that, good ventilation avoids issues with heating the home. An additional tip is to use internal finishes that are good insulators such as quality curtains and carpet. Both insulation and ventilation are essential to sustainable builds.
The NZGBC (New Zealand Green Building Council / Te Kaunihera Hanganga Tautaiao) denote ‘Homestar’ ratings to rate the performance and environmental impacts of homes. A ‘6’ or ‘7’ rating would show the home is at a good standard, whereas a higher rating such as ‘10’ would be regarded as ‘world-leading’.