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What’s the story with eco-friendly homes?

From Papamoa to Bethlehem, Pyes Pa Mount Maunganui, and even on the city fringe it’s amazing the little (and not so little) pockets of bare land that pop up in Tauranga. We marketed and sold quite a few sections in the months prior to the national Covid-19 lockdown and it’s exciting to think what the future holds for those sites and for the new owners and their families.

A Blank Canvas, Build Your Family’s Future … Yes, we know real estate headlines can be a bit cliché, but they are true and inevitably building decisions will need to be made. As well as style, size, shape, and colour there’s big choices to make when it comes to the environmental impact and sustainability of materials, appliances, and more.

Businesses are increasingly offering greener products and services and the building industry is no different, with so many environmentally friendly products and processes now available.

Once dismissed as too costly, eco-friendly building has become a lot more mainstream and affordable in the last decade. A few relatively low-cost decisions will not only have positive environmental impacts but offer many additional benefits for you and your family like reducing maintenance and energy costs, increasing air quality and helping your home to last longer.

Designs should be approached with solar heat gain in mind and it pays to talk at length with your building company or architect about how your family lives, their routines, and what time of day they might be in the various rooms.

Upgrading your ceiling and wall insulation to above building code requirements, incorporating double glazing everywhere including the garage, and insulating the garage door will not only provide extra heat but lower long-term electricity costs.

Moisture is a common problem in newer homes due to the tight seals around windows and doors. It’s important to air out your home but also to have appropriately rated extraction fans located in damp areas or wherever steam is generated. It’s easier to heat dry air than moist air and ducted ventilation systems can play a big role in reducing moisture.

We’ve had a long dry summer and water efficiency is always a hot topic in Tauranga. Think about installing modern showers with flow restrictors to prevent excessive water use. Choosing quality, well rated appliances can have a big impact on running costs over time. Do your research on trusted, eco-friendly brands and models of fridges, washing machines, and dishwashers.

With drier and warmer air, less mould and mildew, and no toxic materials, people who live in greener homes also enjoy many health benefits – something we can all appreciate given the current global pandemic.

So when you’re eyeing up that dream piece of land, whether it’s an idyllic rural lifestyle block or the dream beachfront bach site it pays to keep the above in mind for a warmer, healthier, longer lasting home with lower maintenance costs.

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