Owner Builders and Sustainability
Following on from my recent post about Owner Builders and the importance of considering solar power, I thought I would throw a few more ideas to consider in respect to sustainability.
Owner Builders need to consider two specific areas of sustainability and conservation, one when they are building their project, and in the design phase.
Design considerations will including how you position your dwelling on the block to capture breezes or to make the most of other site characteristics to minimise your energy footprint.
Double glazed windows are great for reducing energy loss in the house and owner builders will also benefit from the acoustic benefits they bring. I am living in an apartment Monday to Friday on a busy Melbourne suburb with traffic and trams at the front door.
There is a rooftop bar across the road, and without the double glazing, the unit would be impossible to live in.
Consider the size of your eaves, in Queensland of course the wider the better to shade the house and minimise the impact of the harsh Northern sun, certainly not as necessary in Victoria.
The installation of water tanks is of course a huge benefit to the owner builder in terms of the money they can save on water rates with them rising year on year. Also, it is extremely important to the environment, and water will likely become a, more and more scarce commodity in the coming years.
It is interesting that councils have done a 360 degree loop on water tanks in residential suburbs and go from banning to mandating through the inevitable cycle.
During the construction phase you can look at water saving initiatives and encourage all your contractors to minimise waste. Use recyclable products, refuse single use plastics on site, do simple things like encourage keep cups and discourage bottled waters.
Owner builders need to be considerate of their local environment and other residents that may be affected by the works that are being undertaken.
They are all little things but they all add up and they all make sense.
I am not a greenie by any stretch of the imagination, but everything I have mentioned in this post can be done quite easily and I do believe that every little bit will help.
Happy Owner Building,
Rick Heaton is a Building and Construction Industry professional with formal tertiary qualifications in management and training.