Human activities, in order to achieve success and progress, have led to the destruction of the Planet’s environment, affecting lives of all its inhabitants. It has resulted in various serious consequences like global warming, depletion of the ozone layer and much more. Hence, being sustainable has become the need and responsibility of every human being. And, we need to reduce our impact on the environment at every stage of our life. This also includes the way we design our home and the materials that we use to construct it. One of the ways to contribute to the betterment of the environment is to use sustainable building materials
Assessing the carbon footprint of a dwelling with Code for Sustainable Homes
In the year 2007, the Code for Sustainable Homes came into force in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. In the year 2008; the adotion of this code finally came into the picture. The design of this freamework helps to reduce the carbon emissions and environmental impact during the time of construction. This code helps to assess homes so that homeowners can make the necessary changes.
Analyzing construction methods
The construction method is analyzed along with the materials used for building. It also includes the insulation characteristics. This code also takes into consideration the well-being of people who reside in those houses and add long-term benefits to it. The construction phase emits a considerable amount of carbon. Therefore, it is important to build houses where people would like to reside for a long time.
A brief note about the code
According to the code, it is essential for every developer to appoint a service provider so that all the new developments can be assessed. The building gets its code rating after the completion of the assessment. The people who carry out these assessments are qualified and are well aware of the factors that they have to take into consideration. These assessors make an assessment of the design and then award an interim certificate before the construction begins. When all this is completed, the assessor calculates the final score and then reveals the relevant code level.
Factors considered while assessment
The assessment of each home is done as per the fixed nine criteria out of which four are mandatory. These mandatory ones are lifetime homes, environmental impact of materials, dwelling emission rate and indoor water use. Some additional points may also be awarded in case the house adheres to some other categories. After the completion of the assessment, the assessor calculates the final score. He/She awards the relevant code level as per this score.
Present norms using the code of sustainable homes
As per the current building regulations, the Code for Sustainable Homes also encourages homebuilders to have sound insulation in the home. Upgrading floors ans walls as the necessary insulation norms attracts extra credit points. The separation between floors and walls can get the maximum score if the sound insulation performance exceeds the set standard by 8dB.
Here are few advantages of sustainable construction
Main advantage of construction using sustainable building materials; is that it lasts for a lifetime that it is strong and durable. Renewable and natural materials like bamboo, cork flooring, solar panels, natural fiber, wool carpeting, reclaimed wood and even metal roofing are easy to maintain. All the above materials are easily available and durable. With all these advantages, sustainable construction has gained tremendous popularity during the past few years.
The advanced and latest techniques available help construction companies to build modern day eco-friendly homes. These techniques are important from the point of view of material and labor costs. The construction complies with the standard building codes and is highly energy efficient. This means they are affordable, easy to maintain and are extremely long lasting. In order to increase the sustainability of your house; you can make use of advanced framing which makes use of wood obtained from sustainably cultivated forests.
Sustainable construction is greatly helpful in reducing your utility bills; since they require lesser energy for both, heating and cooling the houses. The whole concept of green construction is to that it emphasizes on the use of sustainable building materials to construct any home. Hence, create lesser amount of waste that reduces the landfills around the globe. Materials used in such construction include low-flow toilets, green insulating materials, on-demand water heaters and programmable thermostats. Thus, you obtain two-way energy conservation by reducing the amount of waste and better use of energy. In short, it is a perfect, win-win situation where you save money as well as the resources.
Keeps residents healthy:
“Health is Wealth” is something we have been following for long. It is quite surprising to know that sustainably built homes are good for your health.
- Sustainable materials are free from toxic materials, such as carcinogens, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and mold spores.
- Many materials used in green construction improve the indoor air quality. These materials are natural wool carpeting, air systems to let in fresh air, insulation systems which inhibit the growth of molds and laminates devoid of harmful glues and adhesives.
Thus, you see that green home improvement leads to better health improvement of the individuals residing inside such house. Various other sustainable products that improve your health are now easily available in the market.
Waste reduction through sustainable building materials:
The biggest advantage of the green construction so far is that it helps us to reduce the waste generated by us, and subsequently the impact of human beings on the Planet. It is because the sustainable construction include reclaimed products s its chief components. Thus, it reduces the need of manufacturing new materials and saves the precious resources. Our individual carbon impact can be reduces remarkably even by installing some of the green products like LED light bulbs, programmable thermostats. Together, these efforts can play a big role in saving the environment.
Cost effectiveness of sustainable building materials:
Generally, sustainable materials are produced locally. This is greatly helpful as it lessens your expenses on shipping or transport and is a good way to help your local communities. Other benefits of sustainable construction include improved resale values and the availability of different styles.
Summary on using sustainable building materials:
Humans are the most responsible inhabitants of the Planet hence; it becomes our responsibility to be sensitive towards the environment and other life forms. Adopting sustainable construction practices is a small step towards a great cause. To provide a quitter home, you can used the various solutions available to improve the sound insulation properties of your house. Since we have regulations that aim to provide a comfortable place to stay for the people; it also helps them to have homes where they can live a healthy life, while minimizing the environmental impact. Thus, the Code for Sustainable Homes is to encourage homes that are eco-friendly and provide adequate well-being to the residents.