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Is Going Green Expensive?

By Expert Author: Jayden Smith

In the construction industry, there’s such a thing called “greenwashing” which refers to the practice of advertising one product or service as eco-friendly when the fact is, it’s just regular material with a lot of frills and trimmings to confuse the clients. In the end, the housing owner will spend extra and take comfort in the thought that he is contributing to the global environmental advocacy. It’s a reality that some Australian builders take advantage of the client who is less likely to spend so much time doing research. But there are homes in Aston Estate in Craigieburn, for example, which have become models of greening without burning your pockets.



All starts with the materials


If you are really serious about green building, there’s a certain advantage of commissioning a builder to start from scratch. That way, you get to choose the eco-friendly materials that will be used to build your house. So even if you choose a community such as the Annadale Estate in Mickleham, for instance, you can still use materials like FSC wooden planks or recycled tiles for your floors, low VOC paints or non-toxic stains to colour your floors. Reclaimed wood is infinitely cheaper compared to the brand new one. You can also utilise recycled metal or clay tile and fibre cement for your roofing needs.



Insulation is key


In order to significantly reduce your energy and water costs, insulation is the key answer. Sure, a typical owner will have to spend extra to prepare the insulation but the returns will be substantial. You can recoup your investments in a few months’ time. (Besides, there are cheap insulation materials like recycled magazines and newspapers, recycled blue jeans and plastics or spray foams. Talk to your builder about them.



It’s the inside that counts


Aston Estate in Craigeburn as well as the Annadale Estate Mickleham is already a mature community with recreational facilities, hospitals, grocery stores and schools nearby. The developer is taking extra steps to make sure the houses blend into their surroundings and not stick out like a sore thumb. But these are just the outward appearances and appearances can be deceiving. Your builder should know all the tricks of the trade in keeping costs low when building green.



Valuing eco-green measures


Just like in Aston Estate Craigeburn, the builder that is conscious about eco-friendly measures will always try to find ways to innovate. It’s not for everybody because the builder will really invest time and resources on something where the ROI is very difficult to assess. The value is not always tangible. But when the builder is consistent about creating value from its greening efforts, it demonstrates that the brand cares about its clients, employees and community that surrounds it. This should be the similar goal of the homeowner, although going green will entail extra cost, the conscious effort to forge ahead—even without cash payback—will always be rewarded in the end.

Abel Nolan is an expert author and has written so many articles on www.berstanhomes.com.au. Now he is working on house and land epping and beveridge house and land packages.

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