Protecting the Planet with Sustainable Kit Homes
Guest post by Andre Smith
In the past, home construction relied heavily on safety and aesthetics without giving much thought to where the supplies were coming from.
However, that trend is changing as people look for ways to be eco-friendlier in their daily lives.
If you’re ready to build your dream home, then consider a sustainable home.
In addition to featuring earth-friendly building materials, they’re also more energy efficient so that you can keep your utility bills down in the future.
Steel is the New Wood
Wood-framed houses are giving way to sustainable steel structures that go up faster, last longer, and are completely recyclable.
Steel buildings will never fall prey to insects like termites and ants.
They’re especially coated to prevent rot and ensure that your new structure lasts for generations to come.
With a great range of colours available, you can choose the perfect shade and avoid the hassle of painting your new home exterior.
Another great benefit of steel is the superior strength to weight ratio.
You can easily span greater distances using less material, and that results in a more aesthetically pleasing finish.
You’ll create a more open floor plan while saving a good deal of money on labour and supplies.
Finally, steel is 100% recyclable, so any scrap materials can be reclaimed and put to another use.
Rather than focusing on how a home looks, the sustainable builder focuses on how a home will work with the surrounding environment.
With passive design options, you can take advantage of the climate to reduce heating and cooling bills.
This is why you need to work with a team that will come out and survey your land.
When your home is oriented to the site based on prevalent breezes and the path of the sun, it’s easy to keep your property cool and comfortable without relying heavily on your air condition.
In addition to placing your home properly to take advantage of the sun in the winter, you can also have well shaded exterior windows and doors to easily keep everything cool in the summer.
Move to the Insulation
Wood has a natural insulating factor, but that doesn’t mean that you should rely on it when building.
Steel homes use insulation to effectively minimise heat transfer.
Homes should also be effectively sealed to stop air leaks in a passiv manner to helps you lower energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
Condensation can become a problem in some cases, but knowledgeable builders know how to keep the air circulating in your home so that this won’t be an issue for you.
Focus on Thermal Mass
The right structure will also keep a focus on building materials with higher thermal mass.
Wood doesn’t retain temperatures very well, but concrete, brick, tiles, and metal are all excellent at storing heat.
Their higher thermal mass helps you lower energy bills in a sustainable home.
The materials should be integrated as part of a passive design system, but your kit home will already take this into account.
Water for the Future
Sustainable home designs in Australia look beyond the heating and cooling to look at water conservation.
Living in a dry climate, it’s important to be mindful of water usage.
With carefully planned kit homes, you can reduce the quantity of water consumed with improving the quality of storm and wastewater.
This is accomplished by including features such as:
- Water efficient interior fixtures
- Landscaping using native plants
- Collection tanks fed by the stormtroughs
- Greywater systems that allow some domestic water to be reused
One great benefit of living in Australia is that the regular sunshine can provide you with an alternate power source.
Modern sustainable kit homes make excellent use of solar power for appliances, lights, and even hot water.
Rather than relying on the traditional power grid, you can lower your energy bills drastically by turning to the sun for all of your power needs.
You can also choose wind systems for your kit home if you live in an area with enough open space.
This allows you to use renewable energy at night and during the rainy season.
The houses go up fast, and they last as long as traditional designs.
However, with some planning and passive additions, they can work with the local environment to provide you with a more enjoyable living space.