Sustainable Design

Sustainable design is:

  1. Minimizing the environmental footprint while constructing an eco kit home
  2. The finished building should be efficient in energy usage and get a minimum of 6 stars
  3. Having efficient options to save water

1. How do you minimize environmental impact when building an eco home?

  • Use locally sourced and manufactured materials as much as possible
  • Choose materials which store carbon
  • Be informed about the production process of the materials: how polluting is it to make these materials?
  • Look after the land on which the new home will be build by:
    1. minimizing cutting down trees
    2. minimizing excavating so you won’t have to remove truckloads full of soil

2. How do you make your home energy efficient?

  • Choose the best insulation. Read more about options for insulation
  • Get solar panels and a solar hot water system. Get more info on solar
  • Make sure your eco kit home has the best possible airflow by creating cross ventilation
  • Install ceiling fans instead of air-conditioners
  • Buy appliances with the best star ratings
  • Create shade for the east and west side of your house
  • Be energy-conscious: turn off lights and appliances (at the wall socket) when you don’t need them
  • Energy efficient lights like CFL’s and LED sound great but be aware that they actually contain toxic heavy metals. Be very careful not to break these lights and recycle them, so they don’t end up in landfill. LED’s are supposed to last 22 years and CFL’s 9 years
  • Unplug battery chargers when they are not in use anymore
  • Don’t leave appliances on stand by
  • Consider buying a laptop instead of a PC as laptops use less energy

3. How can you save water?

  • Get a good sized rainwater tank. Find out which are the best rainwater tanks
  • Install a grey water system to reuse water from bath, bathroom basin, laundry and shower
  • Buy water saving shower heads and have shorter showers
  • Purchase dual flush toilets
  • Collect the water you use for rinsing fruit and vegetables and water your garden with it
  • Wash your car in the rain