Are you looking to build an energy efficient home with sustainable building materials, or an eco friendly green building?
Sustainable / Eco / Green Buildings are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle, from design, construction through to occupation.
Energy Efficient or Green buildings include measures to reduce energy use. To increase the efficiency of the building envelope, they may use high-efficiency windows and insulation in walls, ceilings, and floors. Another strategy, passive solar building design, is often implemented in low-energy homes.
Window orientation, walls and place awnings, porches, and trees to shade windows and roofs during the summer while maximizing solar gain in the winter. In addition, effective window placement (day-lighting) can provide more natural light and lessen the need for electric lighting during the day. Solar water heating further reduces energy loads.
Onsite generation of renewable energy through solar power, wind power, hydro power, or biomass can significantly reduce the environmental impact of the building. Power generation is generally the most expensive feature to add to a building.
Reducing water consumption and protecting water quality are key objectives in sustainable building. One critical issue of water consumption is that in many areas, the demands on the supplying aquifer exceed its ability to replenish itself. To the maximum extent feasible, facilities should increase their dependence on water that is collected, used, purified, and reused on-site. The protection and conservation of water throughout the life of a building may be accomplished by designing for dual plumbing that recycles water in toilet flushing. Waste-water may be minimized by utilizing water conserving fixtures such as ultra-low flush toilets and low-flow shower heads. Bidets help eliminate the use of toilet paper, reducing sewer traffic and increasing possibilities of re-using water on-site.
Building materials typically considered to be 'green' include rapidly renewable plant materials like, timber from forests certified to be sustainably managed, recycled stone, recycled metal, and other products that are non-toxic, reusable, renewable, and/or recyclable.
Building materials should be extracted and manufactured locally to the building site to minimize the energy embedded in their transportation.
The Code for Sustainable Homes
The Code for Sustainable Homes is the national standard developed for sustainable design and construction of new homes with the aim of reducing carbon emissions and creating sustainable development.
The Code measures the sustainability of a new home against nine categories of environmental design, rating the 'whole house' as a complete package. The performance of a new home is rated for the overall sustainability performance.
You will require the services of a Licensed Code Assessor, who can advise on and prepare certified Design Stage and Post Construction Assessments against the following design categories of the Code for Sustainable Homes :
- surface water run-off
- health and well-being
BREEAM Assessments (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method) are used to assess the Environmental Performance of Non-Residental Buildings.
The method and assessment criteria is widley recognised by local Planning Authorities, Building Control and Government Agencies, such as CABE.
You will require the services of a Licensed BREEAM Assessor to carry out a comprehensive BREEAM assessment service.
The BREEAM Assessor will offer guidance on optimising environmental credits from an early stage in the design process.