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Home Renovations

taylor-streetIt is important to consider environmental impacts in every step of your renovation design. Of course, each home owner will have different priorities with regards to what matters to them. When planning your renovation, consider the following:

1. Where are the materials you are using coming from? Are they sustainable and from a local source? Is the timber sustainably harvested? Is your carpet made from natural fibres or petrochemicals?

2. How can you take advantage of your environment? Are your windows positioned to capture the winter sun? Will your windows and doors allow you to catch cool breezes in summer?

3. How efficient are the appliances you are purchasing? All appliances will have an energy rating sticker – the more stars, the more efficient. Over the life span of an appliance you may save thousands of dollars in power bills by buying an energy or water efficient model.

4. What type of heating and cooling will you have? Consider ways to take advantage of natural heating and cooling, and look for the most efficient systems available.

5. What will happen to the materials at the end of their life? Can the products be reused? Can your flooring be recycled?

Here are just a few resources for home renovations:

YourHome Guide

This resource provides information regarding how to conduct environmentally-friendly renovations, as well as how to save money and create a safe and comfortable home. Go to the website for more information.

Living Greener

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency provides information about energy and water saving measures, as well as rebates and assistance available to households which you may find useful when planning your building or renovation. See their website for more details.

Sustainability Victoria

The Victorian Government provides information about how to ‘green’ your home, including a dedicated section about renovating in an environmentally-friendly manner. This website is almost a database of energy and water savings options and green renovation tips. It’s a fantastic resource, though some information regarding rebates may not be available for NSW residents. Check out their website

HIA Greensmart

HIA’s Greensmart website has some useful links and publications, including the monthly GreenSmart Magazine. Also available are guidance notes and information sheets on rebates and financial assistance for environmental protection efforts. See more at their website.

EcoDirectory

The EcoDirectory is an online resource which will help you find suppliers of environmentally-friendly materials and energy saving devices, as well as tradespeople who have an environmental focus. Go to their website to find out more.