Elements Of A Sustainable Home

We know that insulation batts in Melbourne homes go a long way in not only establishing a comfortable environment for the occupants – but also improving the thermal efficiency of the home and its overall sustainability. However, there are more ways the sustainability of a home can be improved. Today’s blog is going to be concentrating on several elements that make a sustainable home – from the initial design to post-construction.

The initial design

Believe it or not, the design of your home can have a huge impact on sustainability. For example, a home should ideally be the perfect size for you and your family. Anything larger would be considered a waste of resources and future energy expenditure. If we’re looking at sustainability as a whole, then the land you build on also has an impact on the design as you’d preferably want to mitigate the effect your home’s construction will have on the surrounding environment.

Some other factors that are relevant during the design phase include the home’s orientation. This can be crucial to increasing the natural warming/cooling of your home and drastically mitigate the need for air conditioning – which in turn lessens your electrical bill and greenhouse gasses expunged. In Melbourne, a north-facing home is generally the way to go as you can take the full brunt of the sun’s warmth during winter – and use accessories such as blinds or outdoor eaves to block it in the summer.

Alternative materials

Using sustainable materials is a big part of building a sustainable home. There are some new materials, such as timbercrete and ferrock (which are concrete alternatives) that actually absorb more carbon dioxide than they expel. Whilst concrete itself is made from abundant materials, the manufacturing process expends a lot of energy and resources. That being said, double brick homes are still highly efficient materials when it comes to their thermal value and general structural integrity.

Reclaimed timber is an alternative to using virgin timber. When treated properly, it actually ends up being stronger than virgin timber – and drastically fewer resources were used in its manufacturing. It also features a gorgeous vintage aesthetic that can make for great flooring or even furnishings within a home.

Renewable solar energy

Renewable energy is a growing feature that’s becoming more accessible to the everyday household as time goes on. Implementing a photovoltaic system (otherwise known as a solar power system) is a highly sustainable way to use power. Whilst it can be a little pricey, it will eventually pay for itself. Just make sure to also install batteries so you can store power for future use – alternatively, you can still be connected to the primary power grid and when you don’t have enough solar energy, you’ll simply draw power from the traditional power grid. 

Solar panels can either be attached to a home after it’s completed or integrated into the structure during construction. The angle the panels are installed on is crucial to its performance. For example, if you’re looking to take advantage of the sun in winter, then a more vertical tilt is recommended. 

There are two types of photovoltaic system modules:

  • Crystalline solar modules – This is the more efficient of the two systems. It is covered with tempered glass on top and an ethylene-vinyl acetate resin material on the back – which protects the cells from moisture. Crystalline modules perform optimally in cooler temperatures.
  • Thin-film modules – This type of system utilises thin film that generates DC electricity when it’s exposed to sunlight. This system is much easier to install and assemble making it a more accessible option – but overall has a lower output efficiency when compared to crystalline solar modules.

The finishing touch

Whilst there are several elements that go into a sustainable home, one of the most important ones is still selecting high-quality insulation batts. Insulation Essentials is home to a vast selection of different types of insulation products in varying R-Values so you can find the perfect fit for your home in Melbourne.

Not sure which insulation batts are right for you? Our friendly team members will be happy to have a chat with you. We also offer fast turnaround times on both our delivery and installation services so you can rest assured knowing that your home’s insulation is being installed by professionals with over 30 years of experience.

If you’d like to know more about our products or services, then please give us a call on 03 8339 7111. Alternatively, you can also fill out the contact form on our website.