Building an extension on your home is an excellent way to give your family room to grow. It is also a great time to look at how sustainable your home is and what you could do to improve your green credentials. Building eco-friendly homes is one of the best ways to mitigate your carbon footprint and can help you save big on your bills and expenses. Thanks to an ever-increasing demand for sustainable home features, it’s easier than ever to turn your latest home renovation into a sustainable haven.
You’ll need to find an architect who specialises in building green spaces to ensure that you get the project right – there’s more to building a green space than extra insulation and adding in solar panels. You might find some elements will be pricier than the cost would be if you were building a traditional extension, but over time the rewards will far outweigh the expense.
Use Reclaimed Materials
Construction materials are a major cause of emissions in the UK – as much as 19% of British emissions can be attributed to construction materials. That’s not even including the emissions caused by transporting these materials to building sites. Using reclaimed construction materials is one of the best things you can do for the planet when building your extension. There are specialist websites dedicated to sourcing reclaimed materials for new projects, and you can also find them in places like scrap yards or salvaging materials from other construction sites. Some of the best reclaimed materials include:
Invest In Triple-Glazed Windows
Triple-glazed windows can be a real asset for new home constructions. Built similarly to double glazing but with an extra layer of protection, triple-glazed windows are quickly becoming the gold standard for sustainable window solutions. Not only do your windows protect you from the elements, but they are also crucial to keep your home energy efficient and warm.
Put In A Skylight
A skylight is a stylish, functional option to help you light your home all day long without using electricity. Skylights benefit from natural light for as long as the sun is up, meaning you’ll be able to go longer each day without turning on your lights. Of course, you might still need to light up the home if it’s a particularly overcast day and at night, but overall you’ll see a reduction in your energy consumption.
Install A Green Roof
A green roof can be an incredibly stylish and effective green solution for the home. Green roofs are covered in grass or soil to allow for a natural habitat for local wildlife. They can also help absorb excess water and provide essential insulation, helping keep your home cooler in the summer by absorbing the heat of the sun – ideal for a British summer heatwave. There are a range of styles and sizes of green roof available, so it is worth doing some research to determine which will best suit your home and land. It is worth noting that you will need to do regular upkeep on your green roof, ensuring that plants don’t start growing in places you don’t want them.
Ensure Your Project Won’t Impact Local Wildlife
When starting any construction project, it is crucial to look into how it will impact the local wildlife. In many cases, a simple home extension will not affect local habitats, but it is still worth having a professional survey the area to make sure. Protected species, like all 18 species of British bats, will need to be protected if they have a habitat that could be impacted by your construction. You can find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you disrupt certain species, even if unintentionally. Ensure you have quality professionals survey your property and land for protected wildlife, choosing a reputable company like BatSurveys.co.uk.
Add Solar Panelling
Solar panelling can be an excellent way to bring you savings on your energy bills and help reduce your reliance on less eco-friendly power sources. Solar panels can be installed on any type of roof, but it is best to choose a location where they will see the most sunlight throughout the day. You might even be able to make a little extra cash further down the line by selling any excess solar energy you generate back to the national grid.
Hire Local Professionals
It is always best to hire locally for construction work; local professionals will understand the unique demands of your local area and will have a team of quality builders on hand to help with your project. In addition, local builders will have to travel shorter distances to get to your home, reducing the emissions caused by lengthy commutes. Make a shortlist of local builders to speak with and get quotes from each – avoid choosing cost over quality to ensure your green extension is a success.
Include Plenty Of Insulation
Insulation is a must for any home, as it is invaluable for keeping your home warm and energy efficient in the winter. Including plenty of quality, sustainable insulation during construction can save you money in the long run – retrofitting insulation can be disruptive, time-consuming and costly. Insulation should be installed anywhere there is a gap in the walls, floors and ceiling, which will ensure that as much of the heat in your home as possible is kept inside.
A green extension on your home will not only benefit the environment; it will also create a truly comfortable and efficient space for you and your family to enjoy. There are so many positives when it comes to building a green extension, and it can add real value to your home. You should do your homework to find out what kind of features could make up your perfect green extension and understand the ways that the materials you use and the builders you hire could make a difference. You should also work out a manageable budget that will allow you to invest in all the features you could want for a high-quality, long-lasting green extension.