Three Essential Environmental Considerations for Self-Builders

When you’re progressing with a self-build home project, one of the great opportunities you have is to create a truly environmentally friendly structure which will save you money on utility bills as well as slashing your carbon footprint.

Three Essential Environmental Considerations for Self-Builders

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Look at Materials

Building materials are a key factor for green credentials. Timber frames are increasingly popular because they are cost-effective, robust, beautiful to look at and also fast to erect. Wood is environmentally friendly, especially when sourced from sustainable sources, and it can last for up to 200 years or more – as evidenced in many Nordic countries and areas of Canada.

Cheaper frames are typically constructed from Douglas Fir and other softwoods. Hardwood options include oak, and these can be a higher-cost option but very appealing to many customers. Even better, wooden structures are widely available in kit format, which makes them quick, easy and stress-free to put up. If timber is not a preferred option, consider steel, which offers great flexibility of design, rapid erection and a highly weatherproof and strong construction.

Look at Methods

The methods that builders use to construct a building also make a real difference to its eco credentials. For example, they can use permanent insulated formwork, which provides excellent wall insulation by using sand, clay, straw and water to reinforce walls and lessen heat wastage. Other methods include straw-bale wall systems, which are practical and environmentally friendly. Consider too adding features such as a green or living roof, which allows plants to grow on the roof itself, to provide extra insulation and a beautiful living design feature. Double or even triple glazing is also a must. Remember that if you find that a project isn’t going in the direction that you want it to, you can use land remediation services from a company such as

Consider Energy

A self-build can also involve installing green energy systems. Whether you choose heat pumps, solar panels, a wind turbine, a ground-source heat system or grey-water recycling, these approaches cut carbon emissions whilst saving money. Additionally, homeowners can benefit from an additional income via government subsidies and sell excess energy back into the national grid. The important thing is to factor in green requirements at an early stage with your architect so that they can be a key consideration in the design work.

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