Passive and sustainable homes aren’t a new concept, yet we’re hearing more and more about home owners making the switch. Why? Because major issues like climate change and ongoing emissions are having an impact on the everyday person.
It is not only the home owner that is taking control, but the Australian Government is too. By introducing the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), which measures your home’s potential energy use on a scale of 1 to 10. New homes now have to comply with the energy efficiency rating of its state or territory and can test this using NatHERS.
What is a sustainable house?
It is a house made to a standard of energy efficiency, thus reducing its ecological footprint. The Australian Government states “Paying attention to the principles of good passive design suitable for your climate effectively ‘locks in’ thermal comfort, low heating and cooling bills, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions for the life span of your home”.
Not only does an environmentally based design utilise the sun for heating and cooling, it also involves designing with renewable/green materials. This is one of the most important factors to achieve minimal impact on the environment.
What does it have to do with timber?
Timber is the most sustainable building material available in Australia. It is a renewable, environmentally friendly resource that has lower embodied emissions than its building counterparts such as concrete, aluminum and steel.
Wood Solutions explain “Wood offers the builder or designer several environmental advantages over common, alternative building materials. Namely:
- Wood is newewable resource;
- Wood products store carbon dioxide;
- Comparatively, the manufacture of wood products requires smaller amounts of energy; and
- Residues generated through the processing of wood can be reused in a variety of positive ways.”
What are your options?
Whether you’re a home owner, a designer or builder, you have the choice to build a home at its best. Here’s how you can make a step in the right direction:
Home owners – when building a home, be sure to specify local, sustainable materials or purchase a environmentally friendly prefab home (like ArchiBlox). If you already live in your home, look to make changes to the appliances and materials used within the space.
Designers – take a holistic approach when designing your sustainable project. Consult your builder, architect and suppliers to ensure you create healthy building and environment. If you want to fully commit to a sustainable space, aim to achieve the Green Building Council’s Green Star rating.
Builders – build with PEFC certified timber. Find local, environmentally friendly options that’ll contribute to reducing emissions.
In recent years, we’ve seen this era of sustainable designing and building develop by taking a proactive approach, and we can only hope that it continues down this path in the future.
To understand more about the sustainability credentials of our hardwood, read the sustainable page here.