Most home builders and renovators are unaware of where the products used in constructing their home come from, how they’re manufactured, what they’re made of and how they might affect their health. At Hazelwood Homes, we are committed to assisting our clients to make sustainable and healthy choices for their home. On this page, you will find information about sustainable and healthy products for your home – from timber to carpet and beyond. Take some time to think about the products you will use in your home then get in touch to make your vision a reality!
Fibre cement boards are a common form of cladding these days but they have high embodied energy. That means that a lot of energy is used in producing them.
How do you ensure that the cladding used on your home is as sustainable as possible?
Sustainably sourced timber (see timber, below) is a great option for cladding. However, if you want the look of fibre cement boards with less embodied energy, we can help you source flat sheets with GreenTag certification. This means they have met rigorous sustainability standards.
If you’re anything like us, you’ll find that living in Victoria can get a bit chilly at certain times of the year! Single-pane glass windows leak heat in winter. They also gain heat in summer. This is not energy efficient as it means extra heating in winter and extra cooling in summer, which harms our environment.
How do you ensure that the glass you choose for your home doesn’t harm the environment?
Consider a window with a Window Energy Rating Scheme rating of at least four heating stars. This means less heating in winter, especially.
Timber is a commonly used building product. However, some timber is harvested illegally in the forests of Asia. This results in the loss of habitat for some of our planet’s most admired creatures, such as orangutans.
How do you ensure that the timber used on your project is sourced sustainably?
When building or renovating a home, it is normal to put a lot of thought into which carpet you will install. However, more than selecting a colour and feel that appeals, it is important to understand your chosen carpet’s sustainable and health credentials. Carpets differ in the raw materials and process used to manufacture them as well as in the level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) they emit.
How do you ensure that your carpet is as sustainable and healthy as possible?
Look for carpet rated Environmental Certification Scheme (ECS) 4. An ECS 4 carpet is rated as such because of its fitness for purpose as well as its low-impact emissions, toxicity and manufacturing process.
Tiles are commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens and even across an entire living area. The environmental issues associated with tiles are complex, however. The issues range from the raw materials used to the manufacturing process, transportation and the recycling potential of the tiles.
How do you ensure that the tiles you choose for your home are as sustainable as possible?
Tiles that are GreenTag certified are a great sustainable option. When a product is GreenTag certified, it means it has met high environmental standards.
It is rare to find a house that isn’t painted inside! However, many paints emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) for quite some time after application.
How do you ensure that the interior paint you choose for your home is as healthy as possible?
As with many building products, not all benchtops are made the same. Some have high embodied energy, meaning that a lot of energy is used to produce or import them, while others emit unhealthy levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) for a long time after installation.
How do you ensure that your benchtop is as sustainable and healthy as possible?
Timber benchtops, sustainably sourced or recycled (see timber, above), can be great from both an environmental and health perspective. They are reasonably durable and, if finished with natural oil, they don’t emit harmful VOCs. If you choose to use bamboo, it’s even better in terms of sustainability as it regenerates quickly after harvesting.
What’s hiding behind that glossy finish on your kitchen cabinets? Often, the material used in constructing kitchen cabinets can emit formaldehyde, a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC), for quite some time after installation.
How do you ensure that your cabinetry is as healthy as possible?
Sustainably sourced timber (see timber, above) is the most sustainable and healthy option for cabinetry. Timber is both a renewable resource and does not emit dangerous toxins.
Tapware and showerheads
It is normal now to be concerned about the amount of water our homes consume. Clean water is a precious resource in many parts of Australia and it is in everyone’s interest for us to use it wisely. In addition to this, we need to consider how our tapware and showerheads are made – understanding what goes into them, who makes them and how are they are shipped are all part of the picture.
How do you ensure that your tapware and showerheads are as sustainable as possible?
Water-efficient tapware and showerheads rated by the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme as three stars-plus are the most sustainable option. Hazelwood Homes can also help our clients source tapware and showerheads that use recycled materials and have low embodied energy.
At Hazelwood Homes, we are always looking at how the products we install in our clients’ homes can be as sustainable and healthy as possible.
How can you ensure that details such as the basins in your bathroom are sustainable?
A reclaimed basin for your bathroom or ensuite is a great sustainable option. It can make for some fun weekends searching the local salvage yards too. Of course, if you can’t find that perfect basin to upcycle, there are also new sinks on the market with low embodied energy, meaning that as little energy as possible has been used in the production process.
These are just some areas for you to consider as you embark upon your building or renovating journey. Please feel free to contact us today to talk through sustainable and healthy building material options for your home.