Ruiz Constructions takes pride in building green and more efficient homes. In 2013 we became a HIA GreenSmart partner as we want to continue building greener, cleaner and more efficient homes! If you are looking to achieve a greener home and a lower cost of living below are some tips for you to consider in your next home!
What is a GreenSmart House?
GreenSmart Houses are designed to give you a wide range of environmental benefits. When a GreenSmart House is being designed, the builder will focus on:
- The thermal comfort of the house by using passive solar design techniques and appropriate insulation
- The energy consumption of the house by considering the type of appliances and fixtures within the house The water consumption of the house by installing water saving fixtures and providing for rainwater collection for reuse in the house
- The management of stormwater and sediment from the site during construction to avoid soil and rubbish entering the stormwater.
- The indoor air quality of the house and the construction materials by considering the choice of materials and chemicals within the building products and by providing adequate natural ventilation to the home
- The management of waste during construction to promote recycling of building materials and the safe disposal of materials and waste.
Thermal comfort and Energy consumption
GreenSmart Houses aim to provide the owners with an increased level of thermal comfort by considering features such as:
- locating daylight living areas to face north;
- limited glazing to east & west of dwelling;
- using adequate insulation in walls, ceilings and floors (if necessary);
- providing ventilation control;
- creating appropriate room zoning; and
- the appropriate use of eaves and shading devices.
GreenSmart Houses all include:
an energy performance rating higher than 6 stars.
- installation of a energy-efficient hot water systems (solar, heat pump or gas hot water – using stored or natural gas);
- the use of energy efficient lighting to at least 50% of the home; and where installed, appliance
- performance within 1 star of the maximum available on the mass market
Water savings options
GreenSmart Houses include a wide range of water savings devices and fixtures which can be used to reduce the overall use of potable water in your new home.
- Every GreenSmart House includes:
- all toilets 4 star-rated dual flush systems;
- all showerheads 3 star-rated
- tapware which is 3-star rated; and
- a rainwater tank or other water collection and storage devices to provide water for the garden, toilets and laundries.
Some GreenSmart Houses may also include features such as:
- on-site stormwater & grey-water treatment and retention; and
- waterless toilets.
When the builder is constructing a GreenSmart House, they need to prepare an on-site waste management plan which looks at the amount of waste that will be generated, what waste can be recycled both on the site and off site, such as crushed bricks and tiles and where any waste that has to leave the site will be disposed of.
Stormwater and Sediment Management
During the construction process, the builders need to implement measures to ensure that any stormwater on the site is controlled and does not lead to erosion on the site or sediment entering the stormwater system. A management plan which incorporates a range of techniques is prepared before work starts and these measures need to be maintained throughout the construction process.
GreenSmart Houses should have minimal water usage gardens, incorporating the use of mulches and soil conditioners and controlled irrigation (eg drippers), along with maximising the use of indigenous or other water-wise species.
Indoor air quality and construction materials
Ensuring that there is adequate natural ventilation in summer and good insulation in winter helps to keep the indoor air quality of your new home just right. GreenSmart Houses aim to ensure that there is adequate passive ventilation through use of windows and door opening in the home and that when there are openings in the ceiling such as extractor fans in bathrooms, that these are appropriately sealed to prevent heat loss in winter. Within a home, the construction materials, paints, glues and floor coverings can all create fumes which can affect your health. GreenSmart Houses aim to reduce the amount of outgassing in a new house by:
- the use of low emission surface coatings (water based paints, low solvent floor coverings);
- having all gas appliances and stove hoods externally flued;
- maximising the use of prefabricated components;
- maximising the use of use of non-hazardous materials; and
- using materials with recycled content as appropriate.