‘Reduce. Refuse. Reuse. Repurpose. Recycle.’
Not only is this a fantastic mantra for your everyday life, it also serves as a great framework for building your sustainable home renovation. Today, there are many affordable and eco-friendly options to choose from – all it takes is some careful consideration and planning to reduce your carbon footprint. While renovating can be a daunting task, following these sustainable suggestions will improve your home, reduce bills and cut down your carbon footprint.
Reuse and repurpose materials
Undergoing renovations usually means that you’ll have some materials left over from the old section so why not give them new life in your new home? Repurposing original features instead of totally destroying them is a great way to add character to your renovation, saving money, time and materials in the process. Most building materials can be repurposed in some manner, whether it be turning old floorboards into furniture or feature walls, or refreshing existing windows and doors.
Interestingly, half of a house’s lifetime energy consumption is attributed to the materials used in construction. Repurposing original features and materials is a great way to preserve the heritage of your home and cut down on your carbon footprint.
Choose local materials
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to ensure a sustainable renovation process is opting for Australian-made materials. Of course, this is just as much about refusing imported materials and their larger ecological footprint, but it’s also a great opportunity to support Australian businesses.
Some of the most affordable and eco-friendly materials can be sourced locally from businesses like Colorbond steel, whose products are also durable, modern and easily reused at the end of their lifecycle. Don’t forget to do your research – making sure new materials are certified sustainable, low-embodied energy and recyclable will help your renovation earn the green tick of approval.
Aim for net-zero energy
By definition, a net-zero home sources its everyday energy needs from an onsite renewable energy system. While this may sound ambitious, it’s more achievable than you may think.
Consider whether your renovation has the scope to install solar panels, and look for every opportunity to improve your home’s energy efficiency. You may also take the chance to update any gas-fuelled appliances. Being self-sufficient is equally as satisfying as it is sustainable!
Windows will make your life easier
The size and positioning of your windows can have an enormous impact on your home’s energy efficiency. Consider this during the design planning process – well-located windows will improve natural light, ventilation and passive solar heating. Double-glazed windows can reduce heat loss or heat gain by 30% in comparison to single-glazed, helping you stay cool when its stinking hot outside (and vice versa).
Ensure all new windows are double-glazed for energy efficiency, and consider retrofitting existing windows with a double-glaze to cut down on bills and make your home more comfortable. How can something so simple be so effective?
Putting it into practice
As you can see, it’s easy to undertake a sustainable home renovation without compromising your budget, timeline or results. In fact, these eco-friendly tips are likely to save you money in the long run.
For more information on how to put these ideas into practice, get in touch with the experts at iConstruct Building Solutions for advice on how to make the construction process as sustainable and cost-efficient as possible.