Planning to go green for your building project
The importance of taking sustainability into consideration from the earliest stages of a building and construction project has never been higher on the priority list. And planning at the early development stages means that prioritising sustainability won’t necessarily impact the overall cost either. There are lots of ways you can look to minimise the environmental impact of your building project and help you towards Net Zero carbon.
Start with a plan
When you are developing your project, it is worth selecting and getting your architect involved at the start too. They can help advise you on good environmental practice and how to select the best green energy options and materials for your development. All these things cost less if they are factored in at the start, rather than having to be retrofitted later on in the project.
Your architect should be a good source of information on things like ground sourced heat pumps, solar panels, options around grey water recycling, insulation and smart wired homes.
If you are looking for a very sustainable build, you may be interested in Passivhaus design, which provides predictable, high quality and low energy environments. Our Chartered Architectural Technologist, Matt Davenport, has been a certified Passivhaus Designer since 2017. Matt is currently undertaking his own building project for his family home, where he is retrofitting various elements to a high standard of energy efficiency. You can read more about this project here.
Where possible, work with local suppliers and contractors. This brings with it many benefits from local knowledge and contacts – this might be good if you are trying to add something unique to your build, through to reduced carbon usage with fewer miles being travelled to and from the project. Also, by working with local businesses you are helping to support the local economy and in fact, your own local community. Also think about the building material you use and the construction method you adopt, as they all have different impacts on the environment.
During the construction, think carefully about what goes in the skip. Old bricks can be reused, and in fact, if you don’t have a use for them, they can potentially be sold on. Upcycling has also become on trend, with things like the pallets some of your deliveries will arrive on, being successfully turned into garden furniture, storage containers, or any other myriad of uses. You are only restricted by your imagination!
While a sustainable approach to your build is important, some simple planning at the start will mean you are on track on develop an energy efficient property, while still enjoying the benefits of a new build. If you have a project you would like to discuss with us or you would like to talk to Matt about his Passivhaus experience, then please get in touch with us to find out how we can help.