In recent years, there has been an increased urgency to build greener properties in order to reduce carbon emissions and society’s impact on the environment. This article details key reasons behind sustainable development and how Really Group incorporate Green Living Principles in their construction projects.
Consumption and Impacts of Buildings in Australia
In Australia, buildings are consequently one of the largest consumers and influences on natural resource capacity. As conveyed in figure 1, properties are accountable for approximately:
- 16% of Australia’s raw materials
- 23% of energy usage
- 14% of the country’s water intake
- 22% of total air pollution
- 11% of Australia’s water waste
- 14% solid waste taken to landfill.
With climate change becoming an increasing concern, researchers are trying to understand the causes of carbon emissions and in turn find more ways to reduce them. It is now well recognised that the construction industry is responsible for a large majority of resource consumption and waste, posing critical environmental issues. According to Jaillon, Poon, & Chiang (2009), the annual generation of construction waste has more than doubled over the last decade. Therefore, incorporating more sustainable features in our buildings have become more imperative.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions associated with homes in Australia
Figure 2 represents the Greenhouse Gas Emissions caused by Australian Buildings each year.
The following factors are:
- Heated water (28%)
- Electrical appliances (19%)
- Refrigeration (17%)
- Space heating and cooling appliances (14%)
- Lighting (9%)
- Standby energy (7%)
- Cooking appliances (6%)
Benefits for homeowners who build green properties
By incorporating sustainable construction principles, it is possible to not only effectively reduce the carbon emissions in your home, but also reduce the costs associated with maintaining the building. For example, via the use of recycled water systems, it is possible to considerably reduce the costs of your water bills. Similarly, the incorporation of solar and thermal technology can effectively reduce energy costs as well.
Sustainable principles also incorporates better use of natural lighting and housing orientation to assist keeping a building cooler in the warmer months and vice versa throughout the winter. This effectively reduces lighting and heating/cooling requirements within a home, allowing budgets to be allocated elsewhere to make the home more durable.
What you can do to promote green practice
There’s plenty of ways to improve the quality and sustainability of a home. Regardless of whether it is a renovation or a new construction, by aligning the property with sustainable principles it is possible to achieve considerable economic benefits including reduced energy and water costs, as well as reduced waste and an overall longer lifespan of the home.
At Really Group, we incorporate sustainability in our constructions by reducing our impact throughout the construction process. We utilise recycled materials, and higher green star appliances to improve the overall durability of our construction projects. To find out more about us follow the link provided.