What are some of the sustainable, healthy and ethical options that can be used on my project?
The sensitive and efficient use of land for settlement, dwellings, production and resources is integral to our projects.
A careful and respectful balance is sought between the needs of the client, the needs of the environment and the site.
Materials that use the minimum amount of energy in their sourcing, manufacture, transport and installation.
Non-toxic alternatives are available for most materials.
Toxic materials like paints, tiles, adhesives, some plastics, carpet, insulation and some building board products can off-gas toxic fumes which can impact on health and vitality.
We avoid wherever possible the use of materials that use poisons and damaging processes in production, utilise dwindling supplies or otherwise cause damage to the environment. Recycled materials – like concrete, timber and brick – are favoured over materials that cannot be sourced without some environmental impact. Salvaged timber supplies and locally sourced materials – such as earth, straw and stone – may have a higher human energy cost in obtaining them but offer reduced transport costs and off-site material production costs.
Passive solar design and insulation of buildings are popular and simple techniques for improving sustainability.
They reduce the running costs and improve environmental performance without increasing the project cost.
Solar energy solutions can be used for water heating, space heating and lighting.
On rural sites, wind powered energy can be added to the mix.
Water is a critical environmental aspect of dwellings. We incorporate rain water tanks, grey water recycling were we can, and water sensitive landscape design into many of our projects.
Some wastes provide valuable domestic resources used for recycling, composting and grey water. Others, including waste created during construction and demolition can be carefully managed into separate elements to increase recycling value.