How To Look After The Environment When You Build A New Home
For many people, it has always been a dream to buy a house of their own. Whether to escape the clutches of mum and dad, end your dealings with exploitative landlords, or simply to gain a bit of privacy, moving into your own place offers an unparalleled sense of permanence and belonging. Yet this can be an expensive process, so much so that some people have found it more cost-effective to renovate derelict properties or build their own houses from scratch.
While of course, the difficulties of building a new house are not to be overlooked, with some specialist help, doing so has the potential to provide you with a home custom made to suit your needs. Not only this but starting from scratch or ‘doing up’ an existing property, if done well, might just turn over a handsome profit should you decide to sell in the future.
With such a large project, however, you could risk damaging the local environment. The noise, destruction, and potential pollution of a building site can be disruptive to wildlife unless you take precautions. So how do you build with a clean conscience? Here are some things to consider.
The location of your property is absolutely crucial –it is the first thing you must decide upon. Building out in the countryside is a tantalizing option but this is likely to require land to be cleared to make space for the foundations, with the ground churned up to install gas pipes, sewage, and electricity. This will be really damaging to local ecosystems, especially if the project is not managed properly and the ground becomes polluted. It might also create a headache for you, as many rural areas have quite strict planning regulations for building on ‘greenfield sites’. These are sites which have not previously been built upon which require an intrusion into the countryside. Getting your plans approved will be particularly tricky if there are any endangered species living in the vicinity so check the local authority regulations beforehand and consider consulting a local environmental surveyor.
A well-planned project should avoid these pitfalls which have the potential to delay or, worse, derail the construction of your new home. If you would prefer to avoid the administrative headache, ‘brownfield’ sites (which have been developed upon before) might be a more environmentally friendly alternative.
As you move further along with the process, there will come a time to decide on your building materials. Choosing the right ones is another important step to ensuring that your new home is as sustainable as possible. One of the most effective ways to minimize your project’s footprint is to use recycled materials made from waste products or salvaged from other construction sites. Gabions are sturdy metal cages filled with hard materials like concrete or stone, which are often recycled when other buildings are demolished, great for perimeter walls and garden borders. Search for gabions online to see how you can factor these cheap, durable structures into the outdoor areas of your new property.
This almost goes without saying but ensure that your new house is built to the highest construction standards for insulation, water, and electricity use. Not only will this save you money in the long run but it will dramatically reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Keep these things in mind if you decide to take the plunge and build a new house for you and your family. It is important we look after the world around us!