The term "eco-friendly" could easily confuse many of us, and builders shouldn't be considered an exception here. However, with Homebuilding & Renovating suggesting that "eco" could essentially be "ecologically sensitive" in abbreviation, the term clearly has broad applications.
Hence, there are actually many different ways that builders can put together structures warranting the "eco-friendly" tag. Here are examples of how they could adjust their practices to green effect.
Insulate to trim running costs
If you run a building company that already prides itself on pursuing "eco-friendly" practices, then ensuring energy efficiency in properties you make could be a particularly high priority for you.
You could easily market energy efficiency to a customer, too, given how this efficiency can be translated into ongoing cost savings. Installing triple-glazed windows and insulating the attic, as Planning & Building Control Today suggests, could both help you to trap warm air.
Source your materials sustainably
Have you ever noticed how much better you naturally feel in a building made of organic materials - like timber and wool - compared to your experiences in a structure of more man-made materials, like steel and plastic? This phenomenon is certainly evident, even if the science behind it is unclear.
In any case, you can take comfort from how natural materials like sheep wool, hemp and lime have become more affordable. Also, remember to reuse and recycle materials where possible.
Work towards the "fabric first" standard
Are you familiar with the "fabric first" standard? It refers to designing a house in such a way that the fabric itself can comprise much of the heating system. Factors including insulation, thermal bridging and how airtight the overall structure is are all touched upon with the "fabric first" approach.
Passivhaus is an example of the fabric first system, but definitely not the most exhaustive for reining in a building's energy demands - and, therefore, its running costs.
Focus your efforts on local clients
Naturally, as a building company seeking to expand, you might be interested in advertising to prospective clients far and wide. However, to reduce your carbon footprint, it might prove more beneficial for you to limit your coverage area - and, thus, how far you would have to journey.
This article from The Telegraph points out a useful analogy: that of a home-grown apple being kinder for the environment than the same kind of fruit that has been transported from overseas.
Set to fit a showerhead? Choose a water-saving one
However much you might personally enjoy soaking yourself under the massive spray of a power shower, you ought to try opting for a water-saving showerhead when building for other people.
Through installing a showerhead of this type in a home, you will enable the homeowner to save more energy on their daily showering than would be the case with an aerated or low-flow showerhead.
You should also install that fixture carefully - but, before you do, take out the relevant insurance. After all, this tradesmen insurance ensures you're covered whilst working.
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