With lower running costs, natural light and a healthy living environment, a sustainable home is a pleasure to live in. Living sustainably also minimises our impact on the natural environment.
Whether you are building a new house, or renovating an existing home there are ways to be more sustainable.
Council has developed a useful guide to assist you in taking the first steps to make your home more sustainable.
The Your Sustainable Home (681 kb) guide also provides links to more comprehensive resources to reduce the impacts of your home on the environment.
Council's Development Plan encourages new development to be developed in a sustainable manner.
The following aspects are particularly important when considering sustainable development. Detailed information on all these aspects and more can be located on the Your Home Technical Manual developed by the Australian Government and accessible here http://www.yourhome.gov.au/technical/index.html
The design and orientation is perhaps the most important element in achieving a sustainable building. A correctly orientated building can result in cost savings due to less need to heat or cool the building. A sustainably oriented and designed building would utilise passive solar design, which incorporates the zoning of rooms and the correct placement and size of windows in a manner that is appropriate for the local climate.
Appropriate building materials can assist in the heating and cooling of a building, thereby reducing the needs for additional heating and cooling devices (such as air conditioners). Consideration should be given to the thermal mass of materials, as well as the impact of the material's full life cycle, from extraction and processing to disposal and recycling.
The use of energy in the home is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from Australian households. Choosing the most appropriate energy source can significantly reduce your energy bills and improve the environmental performance of your home. Sustainable homes utilise renewable enrgy sources, such as solar to power their homes.
Sustainable development treats the water as a valuable resource and implements methods for capturing, storing and re-using water, as well as minimising the demand for water. Sustainable development makes use of grey water and rainwater tanks.
Embodied energy is the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the extraction of natural resources to transportation and delivery of the final product to the building site. The careful selection of products that have low production and transportation energy can assist in reducing greenhouse gases. Sustainable development minimises embodied energy by designing and constructing long life, durable and adaptable buildings.
Sustainable landscaping can simultaneously assist in heating or cooling your home by providing shade and blocking winds, as well as assist the environment by increasing biodiversity, providing habitat for fauna and reducing demand on water. The careful selection of native species and their location around the property is just as important as the type of materials used within the building. Check out the biodiversity pages of Council's site to find out more about native plants suitable in our area.