The choices we make for our homes play a critical part in our environmental impact. This flows from simple actions, such as how we recycle and use household materials to the carbon footprint of our homes. The importance of sustainable homes has never been more widely recognised – but how can these green design principles be applied to house extensions, renovations, and new builds?
Making your dream home more sustainable and eco-friendly is actually quite simple. There are several proven technologies that can now be integrated into your home renovation, which significantly improve its long-term sustainability, without adding huge costs to your project budget.
In this article, we explain how to make a more sustainable home, with just a few straightforward additions to your project plans.
1) Triple Glazing
Triple glazed glass comes with a higher upfront cost than double glazing but makes your renovation far more heat efficient – with good savings on your energy bills. Triple glazing also provides greater sound insulation, which makes good sense for homes close to busy roads, railway lines, or commercial centres.
2) Solar Power
The sun produces gigawatts of energy for every square metre of ground. Some fairly minor design tweaks can help you harvest some of this energy and lower your environmental impact. Firstly, speak to your designer about the best way to orientate your home extension to make the best use of solar energy. Following this, technology you can use includes solar-powered heating and electric (photovoltaic) panels mounted on the roof.
3) Sustainable Insulation
There are now a wide range of sustainable insulation options available to homeowners undergoing renovations. These include wall cavity insulation made from recycled materials, including sheep’s wool, old cloth, and shredded paper. Extra insulation – and aesthetic appeal – can be added to low sloping roofs by creating a green roof; a thin layer of soil planted with herbs, flowers, grasses, and selected mosses. This adds visual appeal to your renovation and helps attract more bees and other endangered pollinators to your property.
4) Sustainable Heating
You can reduce your dependence on fossil fuel powered boilers by installing a ground source or air source heat pump. These draw energy from residual heat in the earth or air respectively, and use this to heat your home. A heat pump will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.
5) Rainwater Harvesting & Greywater Recycling
Every day, homes across the UK waste thousands of gallons of drinkable water – purified at great cost – flushing toilets, watering gardens, and washing clothes. These tasks can be performed equally well by using harvested rainwater, or through greywater recycling. Greywater is lightly soiled water that, although no longer fit to drink, is perfectly suitable for a range of tasks. Greywater includes water used once for bathing or showering, and water used to wash dishes. After processing through a filter, this water can be used to water the garden, operate a dishwasher, and flush toilets.
Building Beautiful, Sustainable Homes
At Parker Developments, we are committed to maximum environmental sustainability in our choice of materials, building techniques, and energy-saving technologies. By choosing some of these innovative design ideas for your renovation or new build you can lower your energy use and make a positive difference to the environment in your area.
To find out more about the importance of sustainable homes or discuss your options, please call one of our designers today on 020 8942 7048.