nSBRC - Self Build and Renovation

The 7 Best Features of an Eco Friendly Home

Creating a greener and more planet friendly home is something we should all aspire to. Whether you're planning a large self build project or just looking to update your current home, investing wisely in eco-friendly features can provide you with a wealth of benefits now and for the future.

Insulation is a key component of sustainable building and creating a greener home. Improving the thermal performance of your home will not only help to dramatically reduce your bills, but also your carbon emissions too. There is also now a wide variety of natural, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional insulation materials, which often contain high amounts of problematic chemicals and additives. Sheeps wool, cotton, cork and recycled plastic are all excellent insulators and are renewable, non-toxic and biodegradable too.

Don't miss: Evolved Design's talk on 'Fabric First' building principles on Saturday 8th at 10:45am.

Water conservation
Installing systems to help you conserve water is an easy way to reduce your consumption and cut down energy usage. Rainwater harvesting systems can be used for watering your garden, washing the car and even for toilets, saving gallons of water. Low-flow taps and shower heads, plus water efficient appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, can also help you save water without even realising.

New homes are far better insulated than ever before, and with hot water production being the dominant load, this demands a system specially designed to match this requirement.

Don't miss: Find out more about the Ecodan QUHZ air source heat pump on Sunday 9th at 11:30am, or visit the Mitsubishi Electric stand during the show.

Renewable energy
Our over reliance on fossil fuels is having a major impact on our environment, and switching over to renewable sources is something we should all be investing in. Solar panels, biomass boilers and heat pumps allow you to generate your own energy in a cost effective way, reducing your reliance on conventional sources. Although these technologies can be more expensive, they will pay for themselves over time with the energy savings made.

Don't miss: NSBRC Eco Expert David Hilton's 'Introduction to Heat & Energy' talk, every day at 10:00am.

Smart technology
Making your home a smart home can reduce your home's energy consumption without you having to do a thing. These technologies are now becoming increasingly affordable and effortless to install. Smart thermostats can regulate the temperature in your home and adjust this based on your daily routine, turning the heat off whilst you're at work and back on before you're due home. Similarly, smart lighting can turn off lights you've forgotten you left on or be programmed to your routine.

Don't miss: Find out about Dimplex's WIFI Multi-zone Programmable CONNEX controller and their range of conventional and renewable heating options on Friday 7th at 12:15pm, or visit their stand.

Energy Star appliances
An Energy Star label on an appliance means it's been rated as energy efficient by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). These products can help you save energy without having to sacrifice features or functionality.

Don't miss: Our 'Green Question Time' seminar, every day at 1:00pm.

Natural lighting and ventilation
One of the biggest things to consider when planning an eco-friendly self build is making the most of natural light and ventilation within your new home. Creating a house which takes advantage of these natural resources makes for a healthier and more efficient indoor environment.

Don't miss: Ultraframe's free seminar on Saturday 8th at 2pm, plus view their latest glass roof extensions and conservatories every day at their stand.

Reclaimed wood
Using reclaimed timber within your build helps to preserve our forests and prevent over-forestation. Reclaimed wood has many advantages and a wonderfully unique character, with no two pieces ever the same. Wood reclaimed from old buildings and furniture is often from more mature trees, making it stronger, more durable and less prone to warping than newer, virgin wood.

Don't miss: Meet self-builder Ray Vince and hear how he both restored an existing property and built a new build, every day at 12:00pm and 3:00pm.

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