Sustainable house design features checklist

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This article summaries features and opportunities for maximising the sustainable design features of a building.

  • Passive solar design - thermal mass, north facing glass with shading systems. Use recycled content (e.g. GB slag blend) for concrete slabs.
  • Plantation or recycled timber only.
  • Pendant lighting - CF or LED bulbs. Use motion sensitive switches to activate and turn off where appropriate.
  • Energy generation: Solar panels, wind power, micro hydro, depending on location.
  • Solar hot water with electric boosting
  • Rainwater collection system and tanks (10,000 litres per bedroom)
  • Double glazing for windows
  • Triple glazing for roof windows
  • Low toxicity paints and floor finishes
  • Insulation - roof, wall and floor
  • Solar hot water with gas boosting
  • Energy efficient appliances - 5 star or better (dishwasher, fridge, stove, airconditioner if fitted)
  • Grey water treatment or diversion to garden
  • Low water garden
  • Food garden
  • Cross flow ventilation
  • "Solar chimney" incorporated in design to naturally vent hot air
  • Appropriate sizing of rooms and overall building.
  • Two or three storey configuration (e.g. cellar, living level, loft) to minimise footprint of dwelling.
  • Ceiling fans for cooling.
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