It pays to go green in building

| May 9, 2014

There are many ways to build your home with energy efficiency in mind. David Moses from building company Horizon Habitats says that going green in building saves money in the long run.

There are already many ways that Councils are encouraging home owners, architects and builders to make their houses more “green” and energy efficient. The simplest way is by enforcing Basix compliance. This includes benefits for using energy efficient glass in windows; solar panels to generate electricity; use of LED lights inside the house; solar and/or gas hot water systems; hydronic heating systems; collecting rainwater in tanks and re-using it; insulation in walls and ceilings etc.

Sophisticated energy management systems can also be integrated in to homes to minimise power consumption. Governments have also manipulated the industry by making tip fees so expensive that it pays to separate waste and recycle!

There are many ways to design homes with energy efficiency in mind, and can benefit from consideration in all facets of the building’s design – from the location and orientation of the home to the structure with which it is built, the types of windows allowing ventilation and the way they are glazed; how the buildings are heated or cooled; avoiding the need to cool a house by using shading systems; what water is used where, such as using rainwater to flush toilets and wash clothes; all the way through to the products that are actually used such as recycled timbers, concrete with recycled aggregate, re-used materials from a previous house, or using plantation timbers that are more sustainable etc.

We try and listen to our clients’ desires and fit as much as we can into the house. There is always the issue with budget of course. Some demands are easy, such as using LED lights. They are a little more expensive to begin with, but will pay themselves off over a relatively short period of time. And while this was not always the case, the R&D into LED lights has paid off to the point that they are now brighter and better quality than standard halogen lights in any case.

At the end of the day, with the price of electricity only going up, any way that we can help reduce the energy consumption of a house, especially in heating or cooling, is going to save money in the long run.