Top trend: Finding more ways to go green

Category Home advice

The push for green homes has increased dramatically in the past couple of years and, given soaring energy prices and much more widespread climate awareness, the preference for eco-friendly homes is set to grow even more, especially in SA which boasts an abundance of sunlight but also rising consciousness about the scarcity of water and the value of land.

So what is a green home, exactly? It is one that embraces the five principles of sustainability, as identified by green advocates, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.

"These are optimizing use of sun energy and sunlight, improving indoor air quality, using the land responsibly, creating high performance and moisture-resistant houses and making wise use of natural resources such as water."

In general, however, home builders and buyers tend to think of green homes as homes that have lower than historic levels of environmental impact. And, he says, that's a good start, as it embraces some easy ways to be more eco-friendly. These include:

*Using building materials that are recycled or made from recycled products, like Eco Bricks;

*Installing low-flow shower heads and water saving toilets;

*Using high-efficiency windows with double glazing to help maintain a constant indoor temperature without using heating or air conditioning;

*Utilizing paints and carpets with no or low odour ratings;

*Recycling building rubble;

*Making as much use as possible of renewable energy sources by installing solar panels, heat pumps and wind turbines;

*Motivating for home owners to be allowed to add surplus energy generated via solar or other means back into the national grid, because this lowers the need for more coal-fired power stations;

*Motivating for local authorities to provide credit or offer incentives to home owners to go green - and to invest themselves in green public transport and green spatial planning that reduces the distance one needs to travel to health and social services and recreation, sports and shopping venues; and

*Motivating for more green mortgages, which essentially enable home owners and buyers to pay off their home-loans out of the savings generated from making their homes more energy-efficient - or buying them that way in the first place.

Issued by Chas Everitt International

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Author: Meg Wilson

Submitted 08 Nov 19 / Views 662