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Eco Green Designs

Introduction  ◊  Building Design  ◊  Site Management  ◊  Water Management  ◊  Building Materials  ◊  Energy  ◊  Vegetation  ◊  10 Reasons to use us

What makes a residence Green (ecologically sustainable and senstive)

Building Materials

For new buildings or renovation and/or extending an existing building.

The choice of building materials is as individual as the home owner. There is a vast range and there are more and more ecological sensitive materials and suppliers appearing on the market each month. Most of the manufacturers, large and small, have embraced the carbon neutral, ecological sensitive ethic and are suppling mateials and products that adhere to these guidelines.

Is the material able to be recycled at the end of its life. Can it be broken down and reused or remanufactured into a new material or component. Most materials can be recycled and new materials are being made to replace those which can't easily be recycled

Reused or Recycled
The use of recycled material (eg: timber/plastic composite external decking) or reusing components (usually windows, doors and timber beams) is becomming more common. It only involves the energy cost of remanufacturing or recycling the item as opposed to the energy cost of manufacturing from the beginning.

Timber vs Steel
Do we cut down trees (plantation trees, a renewable resource and not old growth forests) or do we use steel which has to be manufactured and therefore it has a carbon footprint. The debate goes on but I feel that steel house frames and structural components will be used more and more in the future.

Low Carbon Footprint in Manufacture
All materials have to go through some form of manufacturing process. Choose materials that have a low energry cost or are made by certified green companies.

Use Insulation
One of the biggest uses of energy is to counteract heat loss (in cold climates) or heat gain (in hot climates). The best way to contain heat within or to keep heat out of a building is by using insulation.

Low VOC paint
Volatile Organic Compounds are released at room temperature conditions into the surrounding atmosphere. VOCs are numerous and varied and many are dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment. They are typically not acutely toxic, but instead have compounding long-term health effects. Use low VOC paints and products to keep the air in your house cleaner.

This material is essential in a modern building but it has a very high energy transfer rate (it lets light and heat pass through easily). It's good qualities are also it's bad qualities. Using modern technology (heat resistant film) or old construction methods (double glazing) can counteract the bad qualities and still keep the good qualities.

Mub Brick, Pise, Rammed Earth or Stone
These materials have been used since we started building structures. When they are sourced from the site or nearby, they can be very economical in cost and energy use. They also have very good insulation properties.

Green Businesses and Trades
Use these wherever possible and you will minimise the carbon footprint of building your house. Also, by using them, you will help keep them viable and help them survive.

Fittings and Fixtures
These are usually given a 'star' rating. The more stars, the less energy or water used and the more environmentally sensitive they are. The more of energy efficent your appliances are, the less energy you use.

Introduction  ◊  Building Design  ◊  Site Management  ◊  Water Management  ◊  Building Materials  ◊  Energy  ◊  Vegetation  ◊  10 Reasons to use us
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