GARAGE CONVERSION AUDIT
STRUCTURAL LOFT CONVERSION AUDIT
PRE-PURCHASE FEASABILITY CONSULTATION
STEEL WORK CONNECTIONS
INTERIOR MINOR ALTERATIONS
CDM & ASSOCIATED REPORTS
HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTS
3D MODELLING (from)
SOIL INVESTIGATION REPORTS
AIR PRESSURE TESTING
BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATIONS
AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
SOUND INSULATION TESTING
PART F VENTILATION TESTING
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVICE & INSTALL
THERMOGRAPHIC SURVEYS & TESTING
CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
PART G WATER CALCS
DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
There has never been a better time to renovate your green home, given the myriad choices of building materials suitable for building such buildings, as well as the plethora of energy and resource efficiency experts. What matters for homeowners to accept is the fact that (while costs may seem like the opposite at first) they can save money in the long run by choosing materials and strategies that will lower utility bills and reduce maintenance and replacement costs moving forward.
You have already made the green choice with your modification choice. Instead of making a green home from scratch, remodelling allows you to reuse materials in your home that are already in the right place. What will bring you particular satisfaction is that remodelling your home will also have a positive impact on global energy consumption.
While the government recognizes that eco-retrofitting is extremely important, the responsibility remains on homeowners. So, if you want to increase the efficiency of your home, we suggest doing these in the following 10 steps:
Step 1: Upgrade the insulation
Installing renewable energy is pointless if you have poor insulation. Insulating the attic or cavity walls is relatively simple and affordable. You can do this with a few materials that include sheep's wool and expandable foam.
Solid wall insulation is a bit more difficult. Inside, you can apply a thermal coating and the outside can be applied to the existing walls and then covered with a render.
Also, if you are working with a heritage home, you will need to keep the fabric breathable to prevent moisture problems.
Step 2: Get double or triple glazing
Do you know that more than 10 per cent of heat can be lost if the windows do not breathe well?
For this reason, it may be advisable to install double or triple glazing windows to slow down heat loss. To further reduce heat loss, consider a product filled with low conductivity gas such as argon.
Step 3: Reuse building materials
Buying reclaimed materials is beneficial for the homeowner but is also an environmentally-friendly choice. It saves not only your time and energy but money. Refacing instead of replacing will also save you money.
The best place to purchase reconditioning materials is directly from the demolition or remediation site as they are often dismantled carefully so that the materials can be resold. The second place you can buy them is salvage yards that sell everything from old bricks to premium materials and heritage products.
Step 4: Install solar panel systems
Already well-known solar panel systems can be used to produce hot water or to generate electricity.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight into electricity. They do not need direct sunlight to work (so you do not have to despair if the day is cloudy) but you will need to place them on a roof or wall that is facing 90 degrees south. Water-based systems - evacuated pipes or flat plate collectors mounted on your roof draw energy from the sun to heat the water. A spare boiler is available if you need it.
Planning permission is only required in Wales or Northern Ireland.
Step 5: Consider renewable heating systems
Solar thermal energy has already been mentioned, but there are other options worth considering in this context, including heat pumps and wood-fired systems (such as biomass boilers).
Underground heat pumps use buried pipes to extract heat from the ground and to heat your home. This venture does not require planning permission but can make a mess in your garden as it needs to be dug up.
Air-source systems use a similar principle but draw heat directly from the air. They can be installed on the outside wall or in the roof, making them ideal for retrofitting during renovations.
Wood heating systems burn pellets or logs for central heating or heating of an individual room. This biomass boiler feeds your home's central heating and hot water.
Step 6: Decorate it eco-friendly!
Whatever type of person you are with this or that kind of taste, you are sure going to use some colour to decorate your home. There are many green products available to you.
Almost all eco-colours are water-soluble and use vegetable oils and resins to form a solution, with pigments originating from minerals or vegetable dyes.
There are also eco-friendly wood and wax lacquers as well as green cleaning products. Sustainable back frames include natural linings made from materials such as hessian, cotton or wool.
Step 7: Install underfloor heating
Are you one of the many people who think that the radiator time is up and you need a change? Underfloor heating is a great alternative that, among other things, is easy to install. This kind of heating works at a temperature just a few degrees warmer than the air temperature by circulating hot water through a network of pipes placed under the floor covering. Also, it easily connects to alternative heating sources.
Step 8: Use thermostats and heating controls
To reduce the percentage of energy used for heating in your household, start adjusting the temperature. Just a reminder: a one-degree temperature drop equals ten per cent energy savings.
Step 9: Make your floors and walls of natural materials
Priority for the use of natural materials is walls and floors. The walls must be airtight to allow moisture to flow out freely. It goes without saying that if you are insulated with a natural product, you should not hide it behind synthetic walls.
There is a wealth of natural materials available for flooring, but wood is still the most popular. Still, if the wood is not your thing, consider cork, marble or even rubber, which can be 100% natural - but always check with your supplier.
Step 10: Recycle your water
Yes, you heard it right - you need to recycle every form of water you come across.
Are you aware that thousands of litres of rainwater fall on your roof every year? Why not collect it? This water can be used to flush toilets, fill washing machines, or water the lawn. Get information about a rainwater collection system that filters all the dirt from this water and stores useful water in the tank (you can also make it yourself).
Also, consider changing toilets and drivers that use twenty-seven per cent of household water. Installing and maintaining efficient plumbing systems are critical factors to consider when sustainably remodelling a bathroom. Shower and sink taps can also be replaced with low flow appliances to save on water.
Low-volue, double-flush toilets are also increasingly popular. As for sinks, know what materials are safe to use in your green bathroom - natural ceramics and nontoxic cement are popular options.