There can be many reasons why a property is being refurbished, perhaps to update it and give it a more modern look, or to change the overall design be it a home or an office building. Another good reason is to make it more sustainable. In an age of expensive energy bills, increasing water costs, carbon emissions and damage to the environment, there is no better time than now to live or work in a sustainable property. If you are planning to refurbish a property, take note of these green ideas for commercial and residential design that can ensure bills will be lower and the building is more eco-friendly.
- Low Impact Materials
Understanding the impact and durability of materials we use in building can make a big difference to how sustainable a property is. Materials with the least environmental and health impacts should be selected for use in a refurbishment. Used materials from demolition can be used again to reduce waste, such as scaffolding wood, and ensure they are natural and free from chemicals, recyclable, and feature an extended lifespan.
- Renewable Energy Sources
Using renewable energy sources is the way forward and at a record high in the UK. Not only is it better for the environment by reducing carbon emissions, it is a lot cheaper for a property to run once the system is installed. Renewable energy can include solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and wave, among others.
Ensuring a building is efficiently insulated can prevent energy wastage and bring bills down by up to half. Walls should be insulated both internally and externally, the loft should be well insulated, and any cracks and crevices should be filled in. Windows and doors should also be top quality and double glazing to aid in the insulation of the property.
- Innovative Designs
Modern mechanical, electrical and architectural designs can be incorporated into a refurbishment to make a property more energy efficient and sustainable. Using inspiration from the seasonal changes or the type of property, these innovative designs can include thermal mass, airflow, and orientation, as well as modern technology to improve the way the property is used.
- Water Use
Renovating a property gives the opportunity for the plumbing to be re-engineered to make it more sustainable. Depending on the amount of rainfall in your area, rain water can be used for certain tasks such as gardening, washing and flushing the toilet. A system can be design to collect rainwater and distribute it for these uses, with the mains water providing a back up in dry times. There is also a way to reuse water that is used by the property for other uses. These ideas can save a huge amount of water consumption.