Upgrade your home sustainably
The best way to build sustainably is to not build at all!
I’m not trying to argue my way out of a job here, but Renovation, Repair and Re-purposing our existing housing stock is the smartest way to improve where we live, while limiting waste and carbon emissions.
Here are 15 ways to improve existing houses in a sustainable manner:
1. Refurbish, repair or re-finish existing features to avoid replacement. 2. Use recycled or re-purposed materials or products if replacement is necessary. 3. Retrofit double-glazing to existing windows for increased sound & thermal insulation. 4. Install weatherstripping seals around windows and doors to reduce heat loss. 5. Re-plan your house to work more flexibly, to reduce need for a footprint increase. 6. Replace old, inefficient appliances with newer energy efficient products. 7. Replace gas appliances with efficient electric versions, to reduce fossil fuel usage. 8. Install solar panelling for supplemented power or complete provision. 9. Install energy efficient lighting – eg, LEDs. 10. Add insulation to walls, subfloor and roof. 11. Install warm roof air recycling and/or ventilation systems. 12. Install “smart”, programmable thermostats to limit wasted heating energy. 13. Replace old, inefficient plumbing fittings with low-flow alternatives. 14. Rainwater storage for gardens, water features, and car cleaning, etc. 15. Cool your roof with light-coloured materials which reflect the sun’s energy away.