Environment

Recycling and Waste management

  • Make waste management easy, find out about recycling schemes in your local area and what can be collected from your doorstep. Make a dedicated space for storing recycling and composting in your garden.
  • When having construction waste, talk to us about what we can do to manage waste and how to recycle, we have recycling schemes in place however, there may be ways we can improve at a little extra cost. Also consider carefully quantities of what you want so that nothing is left over.

Environmental Impact, Sourcing materials and Eco-products

  • Environmental Impact of materials – When building a new house or making alterations to an existing one you may want to consider the impact on the environment of the materials you choose. Materials are referred to as having embodied energy – this is how much energy they will use over their life cycle. From how and where the material is extracted from, how far and by what means it is transported, if it will need processing before use, how it will be applied and maintained in use, and its eventual disposal and if it can be recycled.

For a comprehensive guide to materials see The Green Guide published by BREEAM:www.thegreenguide.org.uk/

  • Sourcing materials – Materials can also be considered in terms of whether they are responsibly sourced in environmental, economic and social terms. Consider using recycled materials, make sure all timber is from a legal, sustainable source, and consider using local materials, avoiding transportation. Some materials may contain contaminants, some may take years or lengthy processes to break down, or come from sources where people are being exploited. Often materials such as timber are certified if they have met good standards.
  • Eco-products – There are a number of construction materials and techniques that have very low embodied energy, some examples would be lambs wool insulation for use in cavity walls, and straw bale construction, or rammed earth construction and non-toxic paint. Often these are traditional, local and labour intensive processes that use locally sourced, natural materials and so can be costly but result in interesting and extremely efficient and responsible buildings. Some easy methods would be to make choices as simple as using brick construction rather than concrete, shingles (wood tiles) instead of concrete tiles or timber construction rather than block work.