Building Your Eco Friendly Home


With the carbon tax debate heating up and environmental issues a media staple a certain environmental consciousness has crept into society. Once the domain of hemp wearing hippies, the incorporation of eco friendly home design features is now an important consideration for any homeowner. Whether building a new home or renovating and upgrading an existing home, sustainable building design can be incorporated at any stage of the building process, whilst having a positive impact on the environment and your hip pocket; the greater initial investment offset by savings of as much as 20% over the life of the building.

As with any major building or renovation project there is a huge, almost overwhelming number of options and factors to consider in designing and building. The importance of careful planning cannot be understated when considering any project, but when developing or renovating your eco friendly home meticulous preparation will ensure minimal material waste and environmental impact.

“When developing or renovating your eco friendly home meticulous preparation will ensure minimal material waste and environmental impact”

A trained architect (such as those from archicentre.com.au) can help to incorporate sustainable building design features into your eco friendly home. Site selection, passive and active solar considerations such as natural shading, and the use of winter and summer sun positions, natural ventilation, insulation, and resource efficiency techniques, when well implemented, can negate the need for more traditional though inefficient, heating and cooling systems.

When it comes to eco friendly housing your choice in building material is another important consideration as is sustainable building design and choosing locally produced and natural products to reduce the carbon footprint embedded in transportation.

Ceiling insulation, despite the disastrous rebate scheme, remains one of the most cost effective ways to save on your power bill and when combined with thermally efficient windows and doors, such as Architectural Window Systems Vantage Windows, can have a substantial impact on the thermal dynamics of your home.

The installation of solar panels is one of the most effective ways to reduce your energy consumption, whilst safeguarding your wallet. With government rebate schemes available and meter connected systems available, in which the power your home produces is fed back into the grid there has never been more incentive to invest.

There are also a number of smaller scale yet effective ways to contribute to the environment whilst developing your eco friendly home;

  • Energy and water efficient appliances (look for highly rated energy efficiency and WELS products;)
  • Swapping traditional light globes for energy efficient fluorescent bulbs;
  • Replacing traditional shower heads and toilets with pressurized low-flow alternatives;
  • Capturing ‘grey water’ to irrigate the garden.

Regular maintenance is another important consideration to ensure and maintain eco friendly housing. Leaky taps, showers and toilet cisterns can all contribute significantly to water wastage, whilst worn weather seals can impact negatively on the thermal efficiency of your home.

These measures are all important considerations as the nation takes a certain level of environmental responsibility. The most efficient utilisation of our natural resources, complemented by stunning design ensures the best possible result for any building or renovation project and future generations.