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Eco Friendly Housing

1943 words (8 pages) Essay in Environmental Studies

18/05/17 Environmental Studies Reference this

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Eco-Friendly Housing

Chapter 1 General Information

1.1 Introduction

Environment is being abused by some. Trees are being cut down for their business. The consequence of their actions is affecting the safety of the people in earth. Because of the extreme usage and wasting of our environmental resources our ecosystem has become compromised. This paper involves reasons why there is an increase in eco-friendly housing. It involves the study of the factors as well as the life cycle cost. The paper also includes the beginning of eco friendly houses and the increasing number of eco friendly houses. With stringent measures planned by the government to ensure greater energy efficiency and a reduction in the demand for water and electricity, it seems energy efficient eco houses are the way to the future. (Nini and Mokoena, 2008).

The impact we have impaled on our earths environment can no longer be ignored. There have been thousands of acres of woodlands reaped for the use of only a few houses. Leftover’s from construction projects and homes demolished to place new homes on land purchased are ending up in our landfills to only sit there for thousands of years, poisoning our earth painfully, a little at a time. This poisoning will affect not only the planet for us but for centuries to come. Many people have found come to believe that our earth is worth more to them as a whole, rather than as a part and have started taken part in recycling projects, even getting into building recycled homes from earth, eco-friendly homes.(Prior, 2005).

We will be able to evaluate the importance of eco friendly houses in UK. It is claim by others that houses comprises the biggest demand for wood; therefore they are one of the destroyers of the environment. Enable to prevent such destruction UK government are studying the implementation of the eco-friendly law. Today eco friendly awareness and the understanding of renewable energy are paramount in the future of our planets survival. Many households around the UK are starting to realise that changes in the way we run our homes and the products we use in them need to adapt in order to help prevent further climate change.

The reason for promoting eco friendly houses is really quite important. We need to live more lightly on the earth, because the degradation of our environment comprises not only our survival, but the survival of most other living beings on the planet. It is now evident the impact of earth’s ecosystems. Studies and reaches are increasing to be able to evaluate how bad our environment is. Builders and other construction company are now engaging on the campaign to build eco-friendly houses.

Building an eco-friendly house involves proper choice of materials to be used. How we build our homes, both in design and choice of materials, is one of the most significant ways that we can affect our future. What is an eco- friendly house? Eco-friendly houses are those that were designed from the ground up to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

1.2 Aims and Objectives

As one-third of the UK’s carbon emissions come from homes, rules on how our homes are built and maintained have become stricter. Builders have had to make changes in design, materials, building methods and energy efficiency in order to adhere to the new, tougher regulations. Below is an example of eco friendly house.

Sample of an eco-friendly house

Source: http://www.cleanairgardening.com/houseplan.html

This dissertation aims is to investigate the effects of housing upon the environment and the factors that need to be implemented to make the construction ECO friendly within the UK. Also the Life cycle costing will be presented to find the cost difference between general construction and ECO friendly development. As a whole this paper will evaluate the importance of having a sticker standard in building new houses. There are some who may think that this will be very costly, question about the cost will be answered in the later part of the paper. It is also the objective of this paper to enumerate the usefulness of having an eco friendly house. Construction Companies is now joining the team of architects who are now designing eco-friendly houses.

1.3 Research and Methodology

This dissertation aims to determine the effects of housing upon the environment. To be able to assess the effects we will be doing qualitative researches why such effects exist. The reason will be analyzed to evaluate how it will affect the building of houses. In order to do this, a research work was done using the internet, journals and books as our resources.

It also aims to identify the factors that need to be implemented to make the construction ECO friendly within the UK. Using a qualitative method of research we will try to show the effects and factors by presenting studies and approaches done about Eco- friendly housing. In the literature review the review on the current policy done by the National Housing, planning consultants, and EDAW are discussed. The review of policy has come up with the results to further promote the construction of Eco friendly housing. Also in the literature review are the principles involve in building Eco friendly houses, established by Building Biology and Ecology Institute of New Zealand (BBE).

The dissertation also includes design and costing of the eco friendly houses and the conventional style of houses. There is a great difference on the design and materials used. The reason on why these where designed this why will be explained as you go along with the paper. This dissertation will have a clear view of the stand of UK government on encouraging architects and designer to create an eco friendly house.

1.4 Summary of Dissertation

Chapter 1 of this paper includes the introduction, aims and objective of the study and the methodology used. In the introduction eco friendly houses are defined including the picture of how eco friendly house looks like.

In the article of Joseph Rowentree Foundation, focus was to lessen the impact of housing in the environment. National Housing Week, planning consultants, EDAW, reviewed current policy and practice and convened three working seminars to highlight key trends and initiatives in the UK and in Europe as a whole. The reviewed of the policy was done because of the emerging consensus that a more sustainable approach to our environment is required. The way in which housing is located, built and maintained has a profound impact on the environment. The result of the reviewed are as follows: (www.jrf.org.uk).

  • There is no pressure or requirement in the UK to design houses which minimise the use of non-renewable building materials, conserve energy or reduce water consumption.
  • The UK lags far behind other European countries in finding ways of reducing housing’s impact on the environment.
  • It is almost impossible for consumers to judge the environmental credentials of individual houses. The building industry is not required to give such information to consumers, nor are they or local authorities making any attempt to do so.
  • The location of new developments and the physical layout of neighbourhoods influence car use. Several initiatives in Europe have made real progress in reducing car travel. Few local authorities in the UK have made much progress on this front.
  • A wide range of effective, but small-scale local initiatives are under way in the UK and in the rest of Europe. However, the combined impact of these initiatives in the UK does not add up to any significant change in practice.
  • The researchers conclude that significant changes are needed in central and local government policies and in the behaviour of developers and consumers if future investment in housing is to become more sustainable.

The impact of housing in the environment depends on the way the housing is built, maintained and used. The location of any new development and its relationship to existing developments are important in minimising the effect. Below are the ways on what to do to lessen the effect in the environment

Use of non-renewable resources

Policies governing the design, construction and renovation of housing do not impose any requirement through legislation, regulation or fiscal incentives to minimise the use of non-renewable resources. There is no pressure to use designs which minimise the use of non-renewable material, re-cycled materials or materials which use less energy to manufacture.

Energy consumption

Energy consumption in houses accounts for 30 per cent of the UK’s total energy consumption each year. UK houses perform poorly by comparison with the rest of Europe. On average UK homes consume more than 10 times the energy consumed by state-of-the-art houses being built elsewhere in Europe. Changes in the building regulations requiring improved standards of energy efficiency in new houses do not match the standards being achieved elsewhere in Europe. No regulation addresses energy-efficiency standards in existing houses. Ninety per cent of the current housing stock will still exist in 2020; significant investment in achieving higher standards of energy conservation in this stock, through insulation and double glazing, would bring major environmental benefits.

Water consumption

One-third of the water abstracted in England and Wales is consumed by households. Two-thirds of this drinking water is used to flush WCs, wash clothes or dishes and for bathing. Except when there are water shortages there is no expectation that households will conserve or re-cycle water. There is no consumer expectation or commitment from housebuilders to design homes in ways that conserve water.

The location of new housing

The Department of the Environment forecasts that there will be an increase of 4.4 million households in Britain between 1991 and 2016. The location and characteristics of these houses will have a major impact on Britain’s progress to achieving a more sustainable environment. There is wide-spread agreement that more houses should be built within existing urban areas, but scepticism that the existing planning system and fiscal policies will achieve the maximum level of development on brownfield land. No mechanism exists to translate national housing requirements into effective land allocations in each local authority area in ways which take into account the impact on the environment. In particular, regional planning mechanisms are weak. There is no effective mechanism in the planning system to ensure that housebuilders and developers first consider sites within the urban area, before seeking permission to develop on greenfield sites.

Neighbourhoods

All neighbourhoods have an ‘ecological footprint’. Neighbourhoods which are most compact and self-contained, with more local shopping, employment and community facilities, have a smaller ‘footprint’. One implication of this is a potential reduction in dependence on the private car. Just under a third of all car mileage travelled each year is between home and work. Road transport is responsible for 91 per cent of carbon monoxide and 51 per cent of nitrogen dioxide in the UK. Reducing the need to use the car will make a significant contribution to more sustainable neighbourhoods. Altering car-parking requirements in statutory plans and the development of housing without any provision for cars can have big effects. Initiatives on this are being undertaken in Europe:

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