How to build a sustainable home

An image of roof with two open sloped roof windows and the trees in the background
Have you decided to build a sustainable house? Building a sustainable home takes time and commitment. Knowing exactly where to begin when building an eco-friendly house can be difficult. If you are on a quest to build a sustainable home, there are many things to consider to ensure you are off to a good start.

Building an eco-friendly house

A sustainable home should respect natural resources by optimising energy and water use. In essence, you must ensure durability and use low-impact, high-performance materials when building an eco-friendly house.

Building a sustainable home is not just about the wellbeing of the planet. It’s about you and your family’s health too. Creating a home that ensures an optimal indoor climate (in terms of daylight and air quality) is vital to your health and productivity.

Read on to discover which actions you can take to get closer to your dream of a sustainable home.

Key takeaways
  • Invest in energy-efficient solutions like proper insulation and lights with low environmental impact like LED lights.
  • What makes a material eco-friendly comes down to many factors, including how the material is produced, used, disposed of, and whether it can be recycled.
  • Make sure to use high-quality windows and doors built from sustainable materials where possible.

Create a sustainable and eco-friendly home

When a lifecycle assessment is conducted early in the design process, it results in the highest carbon reduction and minimises costs compared to if sustainable considerations are done later in the building process. Essentially, as the project progresses, the ability to reduce carbon decreases significantly. This is because it's in the early stages you can consider alternatives, maximise the use of existing assets, such as reusing existing structures/materials at the site, optimising material usage and make decisions on low carbon materials. Making these considerations early will also make the project better prepared for future building requirements, which may be expensive to incorporate once the building is being built/completed.
"A sustainable home should respect natural resources by optimising energy and water use."

Here are three suggestions to help you create a sustainable and eco-friendly home:

Think sustainable

An excellent place to start is eco-friendly building materials to reduce the environmental impact of building your house. What makes a material eco-friendly comes down to several factors, including how the material is produced, used, and processed once it has reached its end of life. Materials with high reusability and recyclability are considered more sustainable as they can return to the system rather than being treated as waste. But hidden factors like transportation and how the material holds up in certain climates also contribute to the material's eco-friendliness. Take the time to properly familiarise yourself with the materials you may use to understand their impact on the environment.

Whenever possible, think about reusing, recycling, and repairing materials. When it's time to add furniture to your home, buy second-hand whenever it makes sense.

Think about energy efficiency

Another way of making your new home more sustainable is by choosing energy-efficient solutions. Investing in proper insulation, incorporating plenty of daylight to save on electricity, and installing lights with low environmental impact like LED lights are just a few ways to make your home more eco-friendly.

Make sure to use high-quality windows and doors of high quality and durability to ensure they have a long life. If your doors and windows are poorly sealed, air will flow in and out of your home, making it more difficult to keep your house at a consistent temperature. Consequently, you'll waste energy, which will end up costing you money. Consider adding VELUX roof windows to let in plenty of daylight, saving you money on your electrical bills, and letting your heating and cooling systems work smarter, not harder.

Think of choosing a company with a sustainable agenda

One of the best ways to ensure your house becomes eco-friendly is to use companies committed to a sustainable agenda. Companies committed to a sustainable agenda can help you make the most sustainable choices, from construction methods to product and material selection. Their commitment to a green agenda is also your guarantee that your house will be as sustainable as possible, both in terms of process and finished result.

A good way of determining if a company is serious about their sustainability goals is to check whether their carbon targets have been approved by Science Based Targets (SBTi). This means that they have been deemed by a reliable third party to be ambitious enough to positively contribute to the 1.5 agenda but also achievable when allocated sufficient resources and dedication.


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