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Building impact

How do you reduce your environmental impact during my build?

There are many things to consider when building a sustainable home, but we’re here to make it as easy as possible. By researching the new and upcoming technologies, materials and design strategies we can make sure that your information is always up to date. We’ll work with you to choose materials, plan the layout and make sure you end up with the best home for you. And to ensure it’s all done with sustainability in mind we select our materials carefully, offer thermal assessments and can be with you throughout the entire project. Here’s how:

 

Considering embodied energy

When choosing the materials for your sustainable home, the energy used to make them can be an important factor. That’s where embodied energy comes in. Embodied energy is the energy consumed in the production process of a product. Concrete, for example, has a very high embodied energy because of the intense manufacturing process. Wood, as an organic material, has a much lower embodied energy. For this reason we avoid using brick and concrete as the main building product. If you’re keen to use one of these materials, however, we encourage using them for thermal mass (which improves the energy efficiency of the home) or as a feature. For framing, we generally recommend timber over steel, especially in fire prone areas of Western Australia. Not only does steel have a much higher embodied energy, but it will also melt very quickly in a fire, even before it’s reached the house.

Deciding what materials to use in your home is ultimately your decision, but we’ll be here to give you all the information you need.

Reducing waste

In 2018-19 the construction and demolition sector generated 44% of all waste in Australia. This is a concerning number, and why try to use materials that have little waste. It’s also another reason we avoid using bricks as the main building material. They are labour intensive and, as they are cut on site during the build, result in a lot of waste. Timber, on the other hand is much less labour intensive and produces far less waste in the construction process. The off cuts that can’t be used on site can be chipped for other uses or will simply biodegrade in landfill. Some masonry waste can be crushed and used in road base or other applications but the reality is most ends up in landfill never to be seen again. A lot of energy has been consumed producing a product that ends up in landfill.

Thermal assessments

Thermal assessments consider a home’s layout, materials used, orientation, and glazing to floor ratio to determine the ability of a building to maintain a comfortable year-round temperature with minimal energy consumption. We conduct a thermal assessment on each of our designs early in the process, giving us the opportunity to adjust the design if necessary. To ensure the assessment is as accurate as possible we’ll provide you with a thermal assessment for each individual room. Most thermal assessments give a blanket star rating which is an average across the home. This provides little insight into the real world performance of a home.

Our thermal assessments will give you the peace of mind that your home meets your energy efficiency requirements.

Let’s work together

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