Sustainable House Plans

Years ago the idea of building a home with green principles seemed a bold investment. Now that everyone and every organization in the world unites to find ways to lessen global warming, the same idea has made a great impact on the Home Building Industry especially in Australia. Thus, almost all home builders including Melbourne home builders are now building a sustainable home.

Presently, Urbanedge Homes is recognized as one of the top eco builders known for building a house with sustainable long term modern home designs and green principles without compromising style and architecture.

Their GreenSmart Homes have already attracted the fantasies of new home buyer’s dream of building an eco friendly home while at the same time offers timeless elegance and sophistication. On top of these features, Urbanedge GreenSmart Homes are built in sustainable modern home designs and green principle house plans which can reduce water and energy usage.

Thus, these Eco friendly homes demonstrate improved energy, resource and water efficiency, which in turn reduces household running costs and greenhouse gas emissions into the environment. By building a GreenSmart new home, home owners can reap long-term benefits such as lower energy and water bills, for years to come.

With the rising cost of energy and the need to conserve our precious resources, a sustainable home is becoming a highly favorable and more economical option when it comes to building a new home. With GreenSmart home buyers will not only achieve an environmentally responsible home that is cleaner and healthier for their family to live in. They will also be able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with cheaper running costs.

To know more about GreenSmart homes, visit Urbanedge Homes display homes and display centres throughout Melbourne. Or log on to for more information.

About the Author:
A computer professional who works on the internet helping Urbanedge Homes increase its viewers through optimization. For world class Eco builders visit us online at

Energy Efficient Lighting Products

Electric power plants are the largest U.S. industrial source of carbon dioxide emissions, a main cause of acid rain and global warming. As the demand for more electricity increases, more fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are burned to generate power. Energy efficient lighting can solve most of this problem to progress the planet's current green movement.

Energy efficient lighting is a phenomenal way to reduce the amount of carbon emissions added to the atmosphere by replacing electric power plants with those that use renewable resources. LED lighting lowers your utility bills, making them a smart long-term investment.

Energy efficient lighting products minimize energy consumption. Efficient lamps generate an equal or greater amount of light as traditional incandescent bulbs while consuming only much less energy and generating much less cost. Energy Efficient Lighting uses 65% less energy than standard bulbs. By using Eco-friendly lighting, consumers can save up to 75% on their monthly electric bill, while helping to protect the environment.

Additionally, many new choice materials used to construct lamping products are environmentally friendly. Some manufacturers even go so much as to offer recycling programs for their products so that they can later be reused for the production of new lighting items.

A specific type of lighting serving this eco friendly purpose is LED Lighting. LED produces light when "electrons move around within its semiconductor structure." A much higher percentage of energy going into an LED bulb is converted to light, which means less energy is needed to make the bulb function. The lit LED bulb produces very little heat, so a greater percentage of electricity goes into generating light rather than wasting energy. Because LEDs lack filaments, powered instead by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material, they outlast incandescent bulbs.

An LED bulb can last ten years. LED's resist vibration and shock, making them a reliable light source. It comes in a variety of appealing colors and can add ambient, decorative light in ways incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen bulbs cant. LEDs don't heat up like incandescents. With shading, efficiency, and cost becoming more consumer friendly, LEDs are increasingly going to be found in homes and businesses. In fact, you can now find LED replacement bulbs that emit light equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent light bulb, which makes them a viable technology for basic lighting needs at home. The LED method of producing light loses far less energy to heat than do other lighting technologies. It's 85 percent more efficient than the vacuum/filament method used in incandescent bulbs.Solid-state lights like LEDs are more stable light sources than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, and the difference is startling.

We can take individual steps to install eco lighting in our household and make it more efficient by switching to LED light bulbs and using more natural light by installing skylights and solar tubes.

For more information visit Business Solution,, to effectively bring customers to the most valuable businesses.

Luxurious Eco Homes

With energy efficiency and green technologies at the forefront of everyone's minds we're all thinking about how we can improve the green performance of our homes. The usual methods of improving heat retention with double glazing and insulation as well as the possibility of utilising some green technologies such as boilers are something we can all do. However when it comes to building a new home, take a look at these magnificent green design masterpieces. Combining such luxury with such energy consciousness is a real achievement.

Crossway: Kent, England
This magnificent four bedroom family home is essentially one large timbrel vault and is situated in the lush Kent countryside. It was built with minimising the need for gas, water & electricity in mind whilst being light, airy and spacious at the same time. As well as using local materials and tradesmen to benefit the immediate area, it was ensured that green targets were met through the use of the highest quality insulation, triple glazing and total air tightness. Its design really is unique, the interior is magnificent and it's totally carbon neutral!

Lux et Tepidus: Toronto, Canada
This stunning 3500 square foot home is even aligned slightly out of joint with the passing street for better solar energy alignment, the exterior is constructed of structural insulated panels and all interior partitions made of wood-stud. A south facing, massively glazed wall maximises light and solar heat entering the house straight onto a slate covered masonry wall which provides thermal mass as well as looking stunning! This is a truly striking & luxurious property both inside and out and the eco features are engrained perfectly within the design.

Woods End: Norfolk, England
Set in two acres of woodland in the Norfolk countryside, this impressive 3000 square foot eco-home was the 2009 winner of TV competition 'I Own Britain's Best Home'. Built from the ground up by Amanda Barrington, the home costs only £500 a year to heat and fully utilises solar gain as well as the stunning woodland landscape and passing stream to do so. The simple & modern yet homely style of both the build and the interior fit the surroundings perfectly and it has won many design, architectural and green awards. This luxurious yet energy efficient project works seamlessly and is definitely worth the title of Britain's best home.

Heather's Home: Weatherford, Texas, USA
This amazing eco-build was the first home in the state of Texas to receive LEED for Homes Platinum Certification and amazingly for Texas the heating/cooling bill averages only $20 to $30 a month! Built at around $117 per square foot, the house features numerous green technologies including a rainwater collection system and a water heater that needs no tank and is powered by rooftop solar panels. Again the interior is stunning and all the eco-features are seamlessly engrained, another perfect example of luxury and sustainability working hand in hand.

The Costa Mesa Green Home: Orange County, California, USA
Another home to be the first to receive Platinum Certification, this time it's a first for Orange County in California. At a massive 5000 square foot it is the largest and possibly most luxurious of those featured and exceeds the local energy efficiency targets by a massive 40%! This stunning green project has optimised solar orientation and is built with sustainable materials throughout. It also features numerous energy efficient technologies including intelligent ventilation, a state-of-the-art green HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) system and energy star lighting. Creating energy efficiency in such a massive, contemporary and luxurious property is definitely a remarkable achievement.

About the Author
Online PR Expert

With the rising cost of energy and the need to conserve the planet’s precious resources, a sustainable home is becoming a highly favorable and more economical option.

So, if you are planning on building a home, incorporate sustainable principles on your home designs and house plans. There are many reliable home builders in Melbourne who will be pleased to assist you in achieving that goal. One of the most recognized green Melbourne home builders in Australia is Urbanedge homes.

Urbanedge Homes features Green homes which are known to demonstrate improved energy, resource and water efficiency which in turn reduces your household running costs and greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.

These eco friendly homes are designed to minimize the use of heating and cooling. Through careful solar orientation on the site, the sun’s energy is maximized throughout the year and natural ventilation methods are used to circulate air in and around the home. Effective insulation is used to prevent heat loss and heat gain through walls, roofs, and floors, whilst heat loss through windows is reduced through high-performance glazing.

As for your house interior and exterior designs, Urbanedge home builders guarantee that you will love your home and will stand out in your neighborhood. Their team of professional architects and designers will create modern home designs and house plans that fit your neighborhood block, lifestyle and budget.

If you also have ideas or designs you want to include in your home, Urbanedge will be happy to guide you through the process and assist you with the many things that need to be taken into consideration. They will help you select the exterior bricks, render and roof colors; doors and windows; flooring and all internal and external features as well as your home’s finishing touches.

Building a house with sustainable designs will not only help you achieve an environmentally responsible home that is cleaner and healthier for your family to live in, you will also be able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with cheaper running costs.

Know more about Urbanedge green and affordable homes at or visit Urbanedge display homes in Melbourne.

About the Author
A computer professional who works on the internet helping Urbanedgehomes increase its viewers through optimization. For world class Home builders visit us online at

Geothermal Heating

Just below our feet lies an energy source that can easily help us warm both our homes and hot water tanks. This energy source is known as thermal energy and can be harvested using specifically designed geothermal heating technology. This article will give you a better idea of how this natural energy source has come into existence and how geothermal heating systems actually harvest this energy.

But how does this energy under the earths surface occur? Thermal energy is caused by a number of contributors. For example, heat radiates out from the earths core and warms the ground. The earth also absorbs energy from the heat of the sun. The strength of this heat energy trapped beneath the surface of the ground will of course depend where you are in the world. It does not really matter where you are in the world though as geothermal heating technologies are able to extract heat from the ground however weak that heat is.

The concept of harvesting heat energy that is present beneath our feet is far from new. In the Roman Empire water heated naturally underground by geothermal energy was put to use to keep their spas hot. In effect this was the start of basic geothermal heating systems. This harvesting of naturally occurring geothermally heated hot water is still used today in some parts of the world. Iceland, for example, makes full use of this naturally occurring energy source using geothermal power plants.

Geothermal heating systems such as the Ground Source heat pump are now used across the world with much success. As the name suggests the Ground Source heat pump collects heat from the beneath the ground and literally pumps this heat around a home or property. Ground source heat pumps use a series of pipes that are laid underneath the surface of the ground. The loop of pipes are filled with a solution has properties to absorb geothermal heat energy directly from the ground. The solution is pumped through the loop of pipes, and gathers heat as it travels. The solution eventually passes through the heat pumps the heat exchanger part of the system where the heat is extracted and refined. This harvested heat is then used to directly warm living spaces and heat hot water tanks.

Geothermal heating systems are forecast to become even more popular with households across the globe. In general many people want to become more environmentally friendly and do their bit to help save the planet. Most people are also becoming increasingly frustrated at the incredibly high prices they are paying for fossil fuels such as gas and coal. Alternative ways to heat homes that are eco-friendly and cheaper to run, such as Ground Source heat pumps and other geothermal heating technology, are the ideal answer.

Would you like to discover more about geothermal heating technology and the benefits of investing in a heat pump system for your home? A good starting point is to visit one of the companies that specialized in geothermal heating and renewable heating systems. One reputable and well established company is called EcoVision. You can easily find their website. EcoVision specializes in all types of environmentally friendly technologies, including geothermal heating. The EcoVision website is probably the best next step for you to discover more information.

About the Author
Rich Stevens writes articles for EcoVision. Discover more information about Heat Pump technology and how Heat Pumps work on the EcoVision website.

Sustainable Windows

Aircraft designers have relied on aluminium for manufacturing aeroplanes for over 60 years, ever since this strong lightweight material was first discovered as a natural metal occurring in bauxite.

This was a huge improvement beyond the plywood, string and canvass that was used before and was essential for developing todays modern jets and the long flying distances we all enjoy today. This requires flying above 30,000 feet which needs a strong, light construction to withstand the pressure differences at such high altitudes.

For the past 30 years aluminium has also been used extensively in the design and manufacture of window frames in the UK Commercial market due, also, to its strength and lightness.

However, no matter how good and reliable any material or product is, there is always the possibility that one day, superior technology will move it aside and create something even better to come along and completely supersede it.

This is already happening, today. In the aircraft industry, Boeing's 787, so called 'Dream-liner' was the first to break tradition and turn towards innovative new technology that not only matches what aluminium can offer - but which goes some way beyond in terms of strength, durability, lightness and rigidity - and avoids the future possibility of metal fatigue.

'Fibre Reinforced Polymer' (FRP) is the generic term for high performance, light weight compounds which combine reinforcing fibres of glass or carbon into a tough and durable thermosetting resin, to generate composite materials of astonishing strength and capability.

Already used as the heat resisting nose cone on the NASA Space Shuttle, these FRPs are significantly stronger than steel, weight for weight and are often known by such names as GRP, fibreglass, carbon fibre and graphite. We are more familiar with them as the best material for producing golf clubs, tennis and squash racquets, fishing rods, motor cycle fairings, Formula 1 car bodies and disc brakes, Olympic vaulting poles - the list goes on.

According to Russell Maguire, Boeing's Technical Vice President, the new 787 will have 94% of its wings and fuselage made entirely from FRP composites, which will provide a lightweight one piece moulded body shell, thus no joints or rivets to deteriorate - and creating a lighter, more fuel efficient aircraft, generating lower carbon emissions and thus achieving a more environmentally friendly flying experience - helping Boeing to meet its corporate responsibility towards climate change.

Something similar is happening in the window industry. Climate change is heavily influencing the fate of aluminium in the UK Building Industry, too. Commercial windows in offices, schools, high-rise tower blocks, hospitals, care homes, etc, have predominantly used aluminium for 30 years, simply because no other material has been strong enough or suitable for these architecturally designed projects - until now.

As in the aircraft industry, FRP (pultruded GRP Fibreglass) has been found to be far better qualified than aluminium for window manufacture, due to its higher strength, durability and thermal insulation, which leaves aluminium floundering in its wake when chasing lower thermal U values and higher sustainability targets for some of our more challenging BREEAM projects. (BREEAM: UK Government inspired sustainable building standards to achieve higher environmental levels of construction - and lower carbon emissions when in use. Building Research Establishment, Environmental Assessment Model).

The advantages of GRP Fibreglass over aluminium don't stop there, either! The following list summarises some of the additional benefits:-

* Service life of 50 - 75 years is double that for aluminium * Thermal U values of 0.9 W/M2K are half aluminium's best (1.8) * GRP needs no surface protection, essential for aluminium to prevent corrosion in weather and coastal sea spray. * Both materials are supplied coated in any colour with a 25 year life * Aluminium can't be repaired/re-coated so poor appearance eventually demands replacement. Scratches and damage can hasten that end. * GRP can be repaired/re-coated any time, in any colour, providing another 25 years and requiring zero maintenance. * GRP cannot be bent or deformed like the soft metal of aluminium * GRP has negligible expansion even at high temperature. Aluminium is the opposite. * GRP carbonises in fire, protecting its structural integrity. Aluminium melts at 660C. * Despite the many benefits of GRP over aluminium - GRP gives better price and value.

So, no matter how good and reliable aluminium once was, there has come the day when superior technology is moving it aside, having created something even better to completely supersede it.

About the Author
Chris Dixon has spent 25 years pioneering GRP building products and is now a freelance Business Consultant working with Pultec Ltd, UK market leader of GRP Windows. Find out more about this new material, it's environmental credentials, and how it could improve the sustainability of your project, at => Chris can be contacted at '

Rainwater Harvesting

Housing associations who want to meet the guidelines of the Code for Sustainable Homes and to apply these high environmental standards to the homes they already have, this is a tough challenge. Even though there are a lot of choices on the market to increase a property's green credentials, using rainwater instead of mains water whenever possible is a choice that housing associations should think about more readily.

Half of the 160 litres that we use daily does not have to be quality drinking water. Use rainwater from the roof to supply outdoors, WCs and washing machines. A decreased usage of mains water is, after all, one of the required elements of the Code for new housing and cannot be side-stepped: 105 litres daily per person for level 3 and 4, & for level 5 and 6, 80 litres. So far the tendency has been to use water efficient appliances alone to meet the lower code levels and not consider rainwater harvesting until meeting levels 5 and 6.

However, now it is being realised that it makes sense to use rainwater harvesting from the start, in conjunction with water-efficient appliances. The official NGO, Waterwise, recommends changing behaviour as the best way to decrease mains consumption, however experience shows us that there are consumers who are not happy with small-size baths or low pressure tap flow. It is important not to put people off saving on mains water. Using rainwater is the way to do this.

=> The Code for Sustainable Homes Requirements.

The Code's water calculator formula for working out how to reach the daily litre consumption has been amended to mirror the new requirements of Part G of the Building Regulations, due next year.

An experienced builder and plumber can easily install a rainwater harvesting system without any specialist knowledge. The main components are the tank, pump, filter and mains back up. It's cheaper and easier to install a rainwater harvesting system in new-builds or major renovation projects rather than in a retrofit. In a new-build, depending upon the size of the tank and the type of mains back up accessory chosen, the cost of equipment for a 3- to 4-bedroom house typically ranges between £2,000 and £3,000. In a retrofit, however, installation costs would be another £1,000-£2,000 as it may involve additional manpower or equipment. Tank sizes for normal domestic use average between 2,700 and 6,500 litres and tanks should be put underground to keep water fresher. Tanks that are shared by multiple dwellings are possible, but ideally systems should supply each individual dwelling unit.

=> Rainwater Harvesting Systems.

Rainwater can either be pumped from the main storage tank directly to WCs, washing machine and outdoor taps, or to a small header tank in the roof space where it gravity feeds to where it is needed. The indirect system is preferred when used with Rain Director. For example, whenever a WC is flushed or the pressure drops in a direct system, the pump is activated. With a Rain Director in an indirect system, the pump only works when the rainwater header tank is completely empty, thus saving 8 times energy use and also prolonging pump life.

To comply with cross-contamination Building Regulations and avoid the possibility of a rainwater backflow into the mains network, plumbers have to make sure that there is an air break if they include a mains back-up device. Some rainwater harvesting suppliers now provide mains back-up kits where this air break is taken care of (by including a tundish, for example). In addition, the pipework has to be clearly marked as to whether it is rainwater or mains.

About the Author:
Rainwater Harvesting Limited supplies rainwater harvesting storage tanks, filters, pumps & management systems for private homes and businesses. Need important technical information and advice and thousands of product specifications? Go to . Download the rainwater harvesting tank size calculator at
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No Impact Man: The Documentary


Follow the Manhattan-based Beavan family as they abandon their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle and try to live a year while making no net environmental impact.

No Impact Man: The Documentary

"In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that's inexpensive and clean, with no emissions. Well over 100 start-ups in Silicon Valley are working on it, and one of them, Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard."

Eco Friendly Flooring Solutions For Your Child's Room

Whenever we think of renovating our child's room, the first thing that comes to our mind is a safe and healthy atmosphere. This implies that everything in your child's room, from the paint on the walls to the flooring has to be safe. Proper flooring is of utmost importance since children tend to play on the floor most of the time. Therefore eco friendly flooring materials should be the only choice for your child's room. There are various eco friendly solutions to build a green playroom for your child.

Cork flooring is a very popular choice for kids' playroom since it has a soft surface and prevents children from getting hurt. Moreover cork is naturally anti-microbial, tough, durable, biodegradable and does not stain easily. Since cork is derived from the bark of the cork oak tree, it can be stripped and removed several times without harming the tree. However, it is always advisable to avoid self-adhesive cork tiles since they may contain toxic chemicals.

For very small infants or toddlers natural woven carpets is an excellent flooring option. These carpets are made by weaving together natural fibers like coir, jute, seagrass or sisal and are extremely soft to touch. Seagrass grows naturally all around the world and helps in insulating houses and also acts as a barrier against sound. Similarly sisal is also a natural fiber and a sustainable resource and is grown without the use of any pesticides or herbicides which makes it highly environment friendly. These products are also appropriate for children prone to allergies or asthmatic attacks and require very little care and maintenance. Wool carpets are again a sustainable and 100% biodegradable choice and have various advantages like durability, fire resistance and are anti-static. Moreover, such carpets use only natural dyes, are not treated with harmful chemicals and are installed without the help of adhesives. All these characteristics make it a complete eco friendly product.

Another truly sustainable eco friendly flooring solution for your child's room is bamboo. It is a fast-growing grass which can be re-harvested every 5 years and is by far the most abundant and renewable natural resources thus making it a popular flooring choice. Moreover it is extremely hardy, durable and moisture resistant. When we talk of eco friendly flooring solutions for a child's room, it is necessary to mention rubber flooring. Rubber flooring apart from being an eco friendly flooring solution is extremely safe, durable, soft and appealing. It is stain and slip resistant, has anti-microbial and hypoallergenic properties and has shock absorbent surface; making it an ideal flooring option for your child's room that is not only safe but cost effective as well.

Last but not the least linoleum flooring is also a safe and eco friendly option for your kid's room. Linoleum is resistant to fungi and bacterial growth, has hypoallergenic qualities, and is very durable and also scratch and spill resistant. Whatever the option, care should always be taken to provide your child with a green, non-toxic and environmental friendly atmosphere.

Hardwood floors, safety, carpet, Eco friendly, Cork flooring
Copyright © 2010

About the Author:
Flooring Supply Shop is the discount warehouse for all the flooring supplies. We deal in bathroom accessories, preformed ready to tile shower pans, shelves and seats, square shower drains, floor heating, shower system, tile and hardwood flooring, Includes newsletter and blogs.

Green Real Estate

A recent study done by BIGresearch and the Southeastern Institute of Research (SIR) found that customers are much more interested in the environment than most retailers realize. A 2008 online survey of 5,300 adults measured their interest in environmental conservation and the results were incredibly revealing. About 70 percent of respondents either agreed or agreed very much with the statement, "I am concerned about the environment." That's more than indicated that they value their faith and spirituality (68 percent) or are engaged in their community (31 percent). Furthermore, these respondents were not out of the ordinary in terms of exposure to green issues. Fewer than 20% had seen the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and 16% owned SUVs. This shows that these people are probably not unique in their concern for the environment and therefore commercial real estate and retail companies should not be worried that green buildings will only please "on the fringe" customers. In response to the question: "To what degree are the following responsible for protecting the environment?" 38.9% of those surveyed said companies are very responsible. The data suggests that being green in stores is increasingly more important to patrons. 63% said that it was either important or very important that the retailers they patronize care about the environment.

It is clear that consumers at least partially hold corporate America responsible for protecting the environment. It is crucial for the commercial real estate world to take these statistics and analyses into consideration when investing. 34% of consumers say they are more concerned about the environment than they were a year ago. This is an issue that is getting more recognition daily, it is therefore imperative for companies to go green now. However, experts say that companies must use caution when going green; they mustn't lose sight of the product. 50% of consumers are say high prices are the reason they don't buy green products. Retailers have to keep the price premium for green products under 20% or the efforts will be unprofitable. This caution should not be discouraging; implementing green practices in business is a crucial element to success and becoming more so every year. Boulder, Colorado commercial real estate exemplifies the green methodology and is becoming increasingly aware of the positive affects of sustainable building.

About the Author:
Michael Bittner, owner of Bittner Commercial Advisors, Inc. has earned an outstanding reputation as an investment partner to some of Boulder's most successful Commercial Real Estate companies. His professional experience of over twenty years in Boulder, Colorado Commercial Real Estate transactions affords you an easy way to invest and hold Commercial Real Estate as a productive part of your investment portfolio.

Sustainability Declaration

Q1: What is a sustainability declaration?

A: A sustainability declaration is a compulsory checklist that must be completed by the seller when selling a house, townhouse (class 1a buildings) or unit (class 2 building) from 1 January 2010 in Queensland.

The Queensland Sustainability declaration will inform buyers about the sustainability features of a property and increase community awareness of the value of such features.


A: No. The declaration does not form part of the contract of sale.


A: Yes. Under the new legislation, from 1 January 2010 real estate agents and private sellers cannot publish an advertisement for the sale of the property unless the advertisement includes information about where a copy of the sustainability declaration can be obtained.

This requirement excludes advertisements published in newspapers and magazines, or signs that are not designed to specifically advertise the sale of a particular property (e.g. a generic ‘for sale’ sign).


A: During the period that the property is on the market, certain requirements exist for making the sustainability declaration available:

Advertisements (excluding newspapers, magazines and non-property specific signs) must not be published unless they declare the location the sustainability declaration can be obtained from.
if requested, the sustainability declaration must be made available to a prospective buyer. Will the declaration be required at open inspections? Yes. Whenever the home that is for sale is open to the public for inspection, the seller must ensure a copy of the sustainability declaration is visibly displayed at the site or in the dwelling.
The seller’s agent is not obliged to provide a copy of the sustainability declaration to every prospective purchaser in this instance if requested.


A: There is growing concern about the impacts of climate change and the need to improve existing housing stock. Encouraging prospective buyers to make informed choices about the sustainability performance of residential buildings is becoming increasingly important.

Properties with a greater number of sustainability features potentially have lower energy costs and use less water. They can also be more comfortable to live in and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Homes with access features may be more liveable for occupants during their various life stages and the inclusion of safety features can reduce potential risks around the home.

The Sustainability declaration aims to increase awareness about sustainable housing features when a property is marketed for sale. It also promotes possible ongoing financial and environmental benefits that could be achieved with specific features. It is anticipated that the declaration will help promote the sustainability of a home and become a key marketing tool for real estate agents and private sellers.


A: For a professionally completed sustainability declaration please visit our online booking and one of our trained Sustainability assessors will contact you immediately.


A: The Sustainability declaration is a self-assessable checklist that can be completed by a property owner. However, if an owner is unable to complete the form, they can seek help from another person to complete it on their behalf as long as the owner signs it. Where an owner cannot sign the form, a person authorised under a power of attorney or other statutory power may sign the form.


A: A guideline to assist with completing the sustainability declaration is not currently available on the Department of Infrastructure and Planning’s website but will be shortly. we advise you contact one of Sustainability assessors to make sure you complete your declaration correctly.


A: If a buyer purchased a home and the sustainability declaration was found to be false or misleading or prepared without reasonable skill and care, the seller may be liable to compensate the buyer for the loss or expense (for example, where a seller claims that ceiling insulation is installed and it is not).


A: No. The buyer would not be able to terminate a contract on the basis of information contained in the sustainability declaration as the declaration does not form part of the contract of sale.

Wait there's more here are two more very important questions and answers!!!!


A: A sustainability declaration is not required when a new lease is signed for rental properties.

However, if a rental property is being sold, a sustainability declaration will still need to be completed.


A: If the home has been upgraded during the marketing period or the seller recognises that the Sustainability declaration has been incorrectly completed, the Sustainability declaration should be amended or replaced. The seller should initial and date the change on the original form, or alternatively prepare and sign a replacement declaration.

About the Author:
Scott Parsons

Environmentally Friendly Homes

With today’s inflated prices on energy and the urgent need to be more environmentally friendly, building a self-sustaining home that will save you money as well as your environment is on the rise. If you are considering building a new home, do check out the natural building materials available today. It will have a positive effect on your pocket and the environment.

There are nearly 20 types of natural building techniques used in home building today. Some of the most common techniques used are outlines below.

One of the most popular forms of natural building in America is the bale building. Straw-Bale Construction is the practice of taking baled straw stacks to create extra-insulated walls. Straw bales provide the ultimate in insulation, are lightweight, cost almost nothing and do not require many tools. Mixing straw with natural plaster provides homes the ability to ‘breathe’, something missing in our society today. HUD (Housing and Urban Development), Fannie Mae (a shareholder owned company, established to expand the flow of mortgage funds in all communities, at all times, under all economic conditions and to help lower the costs to buy a home) and Habitat for Humanity have approved the construction of bale buildings which are economical, healthy and insurable too.

You can say adobe style houses are built both by the rich and poor. It’s because in the South these types of homes are built because the homeowners cannot afford anything better whereas in the Southwest, the rich build adobe homes. This type of housing made from sun-dried mud bricks, has been in use for centuries all over the world.

A mixture of clay and sand are used in the construction of adobe homes. Sometimes straw and manure are added. The clay mixture is poured into molds and left to harden in the sun for days. They are then laid on a stone or concrete foundation using traditional masonry techniques. Mud is the mortar of choice for adobe style homes, however concrete or lime also has a history of use. Because of the severe restrictions on adobe constructions, it is limited to the desert southwest.

Among the most self-sufficient homes built are earthship homes. Michael Reynolds of Solar Survival Architecture started earthship construction. An independent structure, created and sustained by solar energy and recycled materials, the walls of earthship homes were and still are created from soil-filled tires, which are excellent thermal conductors. Bottles, cans and other recyclables fill the gaps between the tires. The building is typically framed with localized wood and roofed metal that will collect rainwater. Optical upgrades include integrated wastewater treatment systems, photovoltaic electrical systems and solar hot water and heating. There have been many Earthships communities built in places like New Mexico and Arizona.

Another common method of building homes today are using recycled building materials, with the sole purpose of creating less waste. By using materials and objects that would otherwise end up as trash, you will not only build an affordable home but one that is earth-friendly as well.

Global warming is a threat that will affect generations to come. The atmosphere surrounding us that supports life is a God-given gift. It must be protected. We should be leaders in efforts to curb global warming, not resistant followers.

Erin Hunt is an avid writer and activist. She discovered that many are still unaware of the dangers of global warming and thus created a website to educate others on how they can play a role in the fight against global warming. Find out more about the effects and causes of global warming and how you can make a difference at

Article Source:

Code For Sustainable Homes

The Code for Sustainable Homes is a rating system that measures the environmental impact for new build housing in England. The code was officially launched back in December 2006 and was designed to complement the system of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for new homes that were built or developed in 2008 under the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The Code for Sustainable Homes Assessment is a mandatory assessment under current building regulations but it does represent important development towards limiting the environmental impact of housing. Currently the minimum Code level for newly built social housing is CSH Level 3. As of Spring this year this minimum target level well also be mandatory for new-build private dwellings

The Code has taken over from the previous Building Research Establishment's EcoHomes rating scheme that was first used back in 2000. The Government owned scheme currently only applies to new build dwellings in England but the National Welsh Assembly recently announced a plan to adopt the code, while Northern Ireland are required to achieve a code level 3 on all public sector homes. The rating acts as an incentive to home builders to consider building to the Code's higher standards, whilst making the information routinely available will encourage consumers to be more demanding.

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Sustainable Landscape Design

Sustainable landscape design is all about the balance of both natural and mad-made elements that would allow a homeowner to feel at east, knowing that the plants would survive and can be maintained. In a way it's like observing ants in an ant farm, but it involves a little more interaction with people who wish to keep a healthy garden or patio the way it should be. This practice is common even in real estate development, making sure the ecology of the land would not be harmed in the most damaging way possible, and it can also work with gardens as well.

To understand the design is to know how much plants or area for a patio is needed in order to create a well-balanced yard or house. It may be something like decorating, but there is science involved. Most gardeners would know when a number of plants in a garden would be too much that sunlight would no longer reach the ground, thus losing the much needed nutrients that can only come from the sun itself. The same thing with other smaller plants that would be covered by the taller ones.

Another aspect when it comes to the design is the usage as well as construction, where contractors who specialized in the field would use and identify the kinds of hazardous wastes that would upset the natural balance on most gardens. Of course it doesn't mean the waste would be harmful to humans, but will not ruin the garden ecology in a tremendous way.

There are other projects that this field also produces. One such example is the usage of alternative fuels and energy such as solar panels. This may sound extreme for most people, but for conservationist as well as those who are aware of the resources that is wasted on a daily basis about the need to protect natural resources.

Sustainable landscape design is a science that helps protect both homeowner and the environment to be in harmony with each other, and in the recent years have been sought after by hundreds of homeowners with regards to protecting their home as well as their lawns and gardens in the future. It may be the first step, but eventually would be recognized and accepted by a majority of Americans who wished to have a more ecological-friendly home.

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With the new Solar Powered Dimmer from ODL, homeowners can save more than 30 percent on energy bills. ODL ENERGY STAR-qualified Tubular Skylights, now with the Solar Powered Dimmer, are perfect for any room in the home where light is limited. Tubular skylights admit natural light into a room without causing “hot spots,” which are typically formed by traditional roof skylights. The Solar Powered Dimmer allows homeowners control over the amount of light entering through their tubular skylight. The ENERGY STAR Tubular Skylight also features the patented Solar Lens Dome, which gathers sunlight even during low-light hours in the morning, late afternoon, or during the winter, to maximize light into the tube. Additionally, the “two-piece” kit makes installation a snap.

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ODL Solar Powered Dimmer for Tubular Skylights

Going Green With Commercial Real Estate

Investing in a facility that adheres to green building standards and performance efficiency is a smart and responsible decision. When considering the value energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings can bring to the commercial real estate market, it seems as if going green is the wisest of investments. The practice of "going green" has been gaining popularity within the last decade.

It is more important than ever to ensure we are doing all we can to lessen mankind's harmful impact on the environment, and the government is offering tax incentives to those who take on environmental challenges with green building practices. Our society as a whole has changed the way it sees building, living and working. That's why living and building "green" is more attractive than ever to both residential and commercial real estate investors. Green building design consultants can help a facility reach its efficiency goals. Green design can alleviate and reduce exposure to toxic materials, as well as ensure the conservation of non-renewable materials and energy.

When it comes to green facility construction, a green design consultant will make sure the building process minimizes the ecological impact of building as well as oversee the construction to guarantee the protection of local water, soil, air, plants and wildlife. When designing a green facility, it is important to take into account the lifestyles of those who will be using the building. Make sure the facility offers support of transportation alternatives, such as walking, mass transit, biking and alternative fuels. Incorporating design features that will make it easier for commuters who use non-traditional transportation is a responsible and modern necessity.

Of course, you'll want to utilize non-renewable energy and recycled, environmentally friendly materials in your building. Many wonderful decorations and practical applications can be made out of the abundance of recycled plastic and rubber. Plastic and rubber are extremely durable, but not very environmentally friendly. It is a wise choice to use the recycled plastic and rubber, however, because otherwise it would end up sitting in a landfill for thousands of years. And, by using recycled materials, it eliminates the need to create new, un-degradable plastic.

You may think that going green and increasing building performance efficiency would cost a lot of money. While this has been the case in the past, it is becoming more and more cost effective. In fact, green design and building often costs the same as traditional building methods. And with all the money that can be saved through efficiency and recycling, green building can actually cost far less than traditional methods over the long run. Corporations and businesses are far more likely to invest in a green building if they know it will increase their bottom line.

If you consider the long-term maintenance and energy costs, using green and energy efficient products and designs will significantly increase profitability. As green building continues to gain popularity, tax incentives will increase. It's easy see how green design and construction will pay for itself as times goes on.

Mr. Oliver is a marketing agent of Servidyne. The commercial and industrial building experts can help you manage your building's energy-efficiency while lowering operating costs. From consultations to energy audits and even to installation of a CMMS system that will keep tabs on your building maintenance and energy output for years to come. For more information on their Green Building Consultant please visit their website.

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