If you are planning on building a brand new home, block of flats, or any other type of building then you will have a lot of things to consider. Once you have your location, plans and surveys in place it is time to decide on the eco-friendly factors that will make a huge difference to your new build. Governments are urging people to think about the efficiency of their new homes or business properties, so this guide will break down how to ensure you make your new build it as ‘green’ as possible.
The materials you pick
What are you planning to use when building the house? Those who are thinking predominately wood and masonry are probably not thinking very much about the environment. The way materials such as brick are made can be extremely harmful to the ozone layer and wood is in short supply. If you want a truly eco-friendly house then you need to think about the materials you use very carefully. The most popular material used in house building, that is environmentally friendly, is stone. Stone is in great supply and does not need to go through ozone damaging procedures in order to be ready to build with. You will find that a stonemason can help you with elements such as the outer walls, pointing work, chimneys and so on. You may need to use wood for structural work, but you will be using a lot less than constructing a whole house from it! A great thing about stone is that it is built to last, meaning less repair work and more time enjoying your beautiful home.
Your energy efficiency
When building a new property you will find there are some very strict regulations about the energy efficiency of that particular building. You are likely to need an energy efficiency certificate that shows the rating of the property before being allowed to finish it, or sell it. Make sure you have the right elements in place to make the property as energy efficient as possible. This could be from the materials you use to build it (as already mentioned) and how good they are at keeping heat in. You may wish to think about options such as insulation, energy saving light bulbs or even LED lighting. If you are going to be furnishing the property then also think hard about the appliances that are going to be used and what their rating is as well.
The upkeep of your property
If you want to become a complete eco-warrior and use materials such as mud, straw, wood, stone and grass for your new build then you really must think about the upkeep of your property. Ensuring that it is properly constructed in the first place will greatly reduce the risk of damage due to adverse weather conditions, or just through general wear and tear. You may also want to seek the advice of an expert in the type of materials you are using. They may be able to offer you tips when it comes to keeping your property in tip top condition. Failing that, be prepared for restoration works and repairs in the future. If you are planning on living or working in the new building then set aside a small amount of money for any additional work that it may need in 10-20 years.
A new build can be a tough but exciting project. As long as you make the right decisions in the planning of your property you can ensure that your building is environmentally friendly for a long time to come.
Article contributed and written by McIntyre Masonry a Stonemason company based in Scotland