Prac­ti­cal choices make for a more sus­tain­able home

Style Magazine - - Motoring - — Ge­off Gib­son

It is very pleas­ing to see our ‘throw-away so­ci­ety’ is be­gin­ning to move out of its thought­less ‘dis­pos­able cy­cle’. We are be­gin­ning to re­alise how much dam­age we have done, (and con­tinue to do), not only to our en­vi­ron­ment but to our own hip pock­ets by not tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion what prod­ucts are made from and how they are man­u­fac­tured. When a short life ex­pectancy is built-in to gen­er­ate more sales, as con­sumers, it costs us more in dol­lars — but the ex­tra imbed­ded en­ergy that’s wasted costs our en­vi­ron­ment. As ded­i­cated ‘en­ergy ef­fi­cient’ builders, we are see­ing a much greater aware­ness and dis­taste of this wasted en­ergy among peo­ple want­ing to build sus­tain­ably. There is much we al­ready do to elim­i­nate this: for ex­am­ple, we use ter­mimesh as a per­ma­nent ter­mite bar­rier — a once-off cost — rather than the poi­sonous chem­i­cal ter­mite bar­ri­ers that must be reap­plied fre­quently and reg­u­larly for the life of a home. Us­ing nat­u­rally ter­mite-re­sis­tant cy­press pine frames for your home makes a lot more prac­ti­cal sense cost-wise, than us­ing chem­i­cally treated T2 pine or man­u­fac­tured steel frame for your home with its high imbed­ded en­ergy cost. Again, from a re­cur­ring cost per­spec­tive, it’s im­por­tant to fit out the in­te­rior of your home with both dura­bil­ity and longevity in mind. This means choos­ing high-qual­ity prod­ucts that will re­main ser­vice­able for the life of your home and that will age grace­fully. This is par­tic­u­larly per­ti­nent when it comes to kitchen and bath­rooms — the ‘big ticket’ rooms. Prod­ucts used in th­ese rooms, like tap­ware, can come with vary­ing war­ranties — some with none. Bet­ter qual­ity tap­ware, like the Phoenix brand stan­dard in Ge­off Gib­son Homes, come with a 15-year man­u­fac­turer’s war­ranty. This at­ten­tion to sus­tain­abil­ity de­tail also ap­plies to elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances like cook tops, range hoods and ovens. Gen­er­ally, the less ex­pen­sive ap­pli­ances have shorter life ex­pectan­cies than bet­ter qual­ity ap­pli­ances. Omega, for in­stance, comes with a 5-year man­u­fac­turer war­ranty, work­ing out cheaper and far bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment in the long run. It’s of­ten not fully ap­pre­ci­ated, but lo­cally sourced prod­ucts have less imbed­ded en­ergy costs — there­fore cheaper to buy — than prod­ucts sourced in­ter­state or from over­seas. Trans­porta­tion and fuel be­ing the main con­tribut­ing fac­tors. As al­ways, ask as many ques­tions as you like, when try­ing to save as much as you can. A sus­tain­able home is al­ways go­ing to cost less to run — surely that’s your goal.

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