How to make your new build home environmentally friendly

Designing and building your own home from scratch is a great privilege. Instead of fitting your life into somebody else's design, you can create a space that works for you in every conceivable way. But with privilege comes responsibility. Climate change is the most pressing issue in the world today, and when you build a new house, you can either make the choice to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can incorporate green design into your new build to ensure that your home is a positive force in the world. Here are a few ideas.

Structural insulation

The obvious place to start when thinking about a green new build is with insulation. By insulating your home, you can ensure that heat is trapped inside in the winter months, which is good news in terms of both reducing energy wastage and minimising your heating bill. Homeowners can insulate their homes by placing rolls of insulation in the loft and under their carpets, but you can do so much more when actually constructing your own home.

You get the chance to put insulation right there in the structure of your walls with insulated panel installation. Insulated panels are typically made from a solid core of polyurethane, which makes them structurally robust while ensuring that there are no cold spots in your home.


The windows that you choose for your home will play a huge role in the heating and cooling of your property, and thus how much additional energy you will need to keep your house at an optimal temperature. If you want windows that are going to stop heat from escaping in the winter time, forget thin, single-paned glass. You need to opt for double glazing that is ideally argon filled. Argon is a non-toxic gas that offers better insulation than double panes with air in between simply because argon is heavier- and this means that the heat can't escape quite as easily.

But it's not only the glass of the windows that you should pay attention to when constructing a new build, but also the window frames. Although it's a cheap material, vinyl can actually be a great, energy efficient framing solution. If vinyl is constructed to fit your windows exactly and the frames are professionally installed, they can reduce air leakage from the home tremendously.

Solar panels

One of the great joys of living in Australia is the amount of sun the country experiences in the summer months. This is not only great for back garden barbecues and relaxed beach days -- it also means that you are in a really great position to install solar panels on your home and to have that captured energy power your electricity. When nature's resources such as oil and coal are depleting, but the sunshine is practically limitless in Australia, it makes perfect sense for somebody working on a new build to integrate this into their home.

Of course there is an upfront cost with solar panels – it is not quite the same thing as recycling an aluminium can to help with your carbon footprint. But as someone who is putting the time, energy, and money into new build, the chances are that this kind of investment won't scare you too greatly. And besides, although this is an upfront investment, you will make savings on your electricity bill month on month while your neighbours have to worry about their electricity rates rising.

Integrate these ideas into the design stage of your house build and you will be able to construct a house that benefits the natural world and that's also a joy to live in.