5 ways that you can be more environmentally conscious when updating your home.

The construction industry, as a whole, uses approximately 400 million tonnes of materials a year, the unfortunate fact is that not all of these materials can be responsibly disposed of or reused, meaning they’re having an adverse effect on the planet.

5 ways that you can be more environmentally conscious when updating your home.

The construction industry, as a whole, uses approximately 400 million tonnes of materials a year, the unfortunate fact is that not all of these materials can be responsibly disposed of or reused, meaning they’re having an adverse effect on the planet.

At O&U, we try to take more accountability for this and make sure that we’re using companies that give something back to the environment where we can, we even make sure to use eco-friendly options in the office as well, like ethically sourced loo roll and paper towels along with cleaning products that do not harm the environment. Not only this, we always make sure that our suggestions during the design process with a client offer some more sustainable options.

We do our bit as much as possible, but in the end our direction comes from the client. So if you’re wanting to keep the planet in mind when embarking on a renovation project, we strongly suggest considering these changes from the start, as they will be much easier to implement from the beginning.

So with that said, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can be more environmentally conscious when updating your home.

 

Upgrade Your Insulation

One of the most common ways that homeowners expel a lot of energy is through heating and cooling their property. Good, quality insulation is essential for any eco-renovation, if the heat is just flowing straight back out again, your mission is already doomed from the start. 40% of a home’s heat loss is down to lack of or poor insulation. It’s beneficial to you and the planet to make sure that your insulation is doing the best job possible, helping to regulate the temperature inside which in turn means that your carbon footprint automatically starts to reduce.

Double Glazing

Keeping along similar lines or heat loss, 10% of a home’s energy can be lost through the window, so it’s super important to make sure you’re tackling this head on from the start. Replacing any single glazed windows with double, or even triple glazed versions will significantly slow the heat transfer and make your home significantly warmer during the UK’s many colder months.

Reclaim and Reuse Building Materials

Something I love to see is older bricks and materials getting a new lease of life by those more thrifty of us. Reclaiming resources really can give your home a bit of character and authenticity too. It goes without saying that reusing materials is a really effective way to be more environmentally conscious. One of the best places source reclaimed materials is direct from the site of a demolition or remodelling project. There’s also a great opportunity to be had by sourcing items from salvage yards, they’ll sell anything from old bricks to high end materials and heritage products.

Eco-friendly Finishes

Depending on your project, it’s more than likely that you’ll be using a hefty amount of paint to decorate your home. There are an abundance of options for you to be able to swap out some of the less sustainably conscious products, for something a bit more responsible. There are more and more options for eco paint that can do just as much as what regular paint can do. You’ll actually find that most eco paints are water soluble and use plant oils and resin to form the solution, with pigments coming from minerals or plant dyes. You should also be able to find some environmentally friendly wood varnishes and waxes out there too, sustainable wallpapers using natural fibres are also on the up.

Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is a great option to think about when considering your heating options. If you’re anything like me, I am cold about 90% of the time! My optimum temperature is most other people’s boiling point. UFH works by operating at a temperature just a few degrees warmer than the room air temperature, which is done by circulating warm water through a maze of cross linked pipes installed under your flooring. The low operating temperature means that it can also be compatible with alternative heating sources with similar low temp outputs – such as solar thermal.

At Olive & Umber we think it’s essential to make sure you’re bearing in mind the impact your project can have on the planet, making such small changes and looking at alternatives can do a world of good.

If you have a project in mind that you’d like to discuss, drop us an email at info@olive-umber.co.uk and we’ll be more than happy to talk you through your options.

If you’re looking at more environmentally friendly alternatives for an extension project, take a look at our Habattach option www.habattach.com