Why build a green home?
The benefit for all is a home that is energy efficient which saves you money every month. In recent years electricity & now water are a significant monthly cost to live with. The secondary effect is your home will have minimal impact on energy resources.
These are achieved through:
•Passive design maximizing natural light, solar energy and ventilation.
•Energy design, homes that conserve energy and use it efficiently from resources that have the least environmental impact.
•Material use, selecting materials based on their impact from manufacture to disposal and cost to maintain in service.
•Water use, both fresh and waste water may be used to save you cost and impact on the environment
At Totalbuild Ltd we are keen to work with you to achieve the home you would like. We also play a part in this during construction. Most waste items from our sites go through a recycling process.
Options to achieve your aim
The energy efficient/sustainable products are constantly developing and improving accordingly. Like all products in the industry what we use today will be some what different in a few years to come.
One thing that will not change is good design. The maximizing of the suns energy through good design and selection of building materials to make use of it is a key part of a home.
Retaining warmth through higher levels of insulation along with double glazing and through building in high mass products such as concrete will reduce energy use.
Heat recovery systems have proven very good at improving the environment of a home and intern reducing energy use.
Solar water heating has evolved with the use of electronics to be a much more efficient system than in years gone by.
Solar and Wind Power systems are available and getting cheaper each year. Reverse grid power systems are now becoming an option where the excess power you generate is put back into national grid reducing your energy cost. Alternatively stand alone systems are available for those remote or becoming common costly sites to get power to.
Low energy lighting is one area with a way to go. For Totalbuild LED Lighting is now the norm. We are using some LED lighting with energy consumption of just 7-9W with a 50W equivalent output. Compact Fluorescent while not for all situations can be used to retrofit existing fittings or where you need a efficient bulb in a decorative fitting.
Fresh water falls from the sky on a more regular basis than most of us would like. There are a number of collection systems available including automated ones that will switch between tanked reserves and town supply as required. Systems of flushing, down pipes, can be built in while water is taken from the highest quality section of a water in a tank.
Waste water can be treated on site or Grey water (baths, showers, basins) can be utilized around the garden in drier months.
What do I need to do
Most likely you are going to need to choose what options are important to you. Generally in order to achieve an energy efficient home you are going to have to invest more in your home at construction to gain a return in the longer term. Energy efficiency comes through building to higher standards which does cost while good design however is free.
The above home won Gold at the Auckland Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards for a Sustainable Home $500,000 to $1 Million. Read more about this home here.