How to sustainably renovate a house


10 November 2021 |

The tap that leaks, the window that does not close properly, the balcony or the terrace we have wasted… Spending time at home has allowed us to detect small or big things that we would like to improve.

Doing renovations gives us great satisfaction as we give greater value to our home, where we spend a large part of our time, and we adapt it to our needs. But, what should we consider before starting a renovation?

A few years ago, the only criteria that were followed before starting a renovation were economic criteria and those related to the durability of the materials; today, another very important requirement comes into play: sustainability. When choosing the materials to work with, the ecological factor is key. It is important to look at their composition and opt for eco-friendly elements such as wood from sustainable forests, insufflated cellulose made from recycled paper, wood chip panels, resin, or cork, for example.

On the other hand, we can also take into account the origin of the materials and opt for locally sourced materials that have a much lower carbon footprint. Along the same lines, if we want a sustainable house, we should opt for refurbishing aspects that give us greater energy efficiency. Here are some tips:

Keep an eye on water consumption

  • Install flow restriction systems, such as aerators, which can reduce water consumption by up to 50%.
  • If you have to renew the toilet, opt for one with a double flush button and an efficient cistern.
  • If you can, opt for cold opening taps.

Improve thermal insulation  

Protecting your home from the cold and heat with adequate thermal insulation will allow you to save a lot of energy and will also save on heating and air conditioning costs.

  • Check that your windows are perfectly sealed.
  • Install double glazing, which improves insulation exponentially.
  • On entrance doors from the street, fit brush or rubber barriers in the bottom groove. They will help you maintain the temperature in your home, as well as keep out dust.

Other changes to make our home more sustainable  

  • If you need to change a household appliance, opt for class A appliances, as they are more energy efficient.
  • Replace incandescent or halogen bulbs with LED lights. They are more expensive, but in the long run they generate much greater savings.
  • If your home has a good solar orientation, make the most of natural light.
  • Solar panels and biomass boilers require a higher initial investment but end up being very cost-effective, as they allow you to produce your own energy.
  • If the walls need a new coat of paint, always opt for ecological paint, as they do not affect health and produce less waste.
  • Do you have an old ladder? Before throwing it away, think about whether you can reuse it and give it a second life as a shelf or decorative element – there are plenty of ideas on the internet! As well as being sustainable, you’ll have a great time being creative.
  • How can you make the most of that terrace? Try growing plants at home. An urban garden is a wonderful option that connects us with nature. You can also install water harvesting systems to make the most of it or generate compost that you can use as fertiliser, reusing vegetable waste and reducing your waste.

In Withfor we know that construction and environment are two concepts that are increasingly linked, and it is very positive that this is so. If we bet for ecological renovations, we help to the conservation of our environment, we are sustainable and efficient. This benefits the planet but also our health, wellbeing and allows us to save money.

An example of sustainability in construction are passive houses or passivhaus, a special type of construction whose function is to reduce energy consumption by up to 80-90%, as it uses a different design to the traditional one. If you want to know more about this type of home, see our article What are passive houses and how do they work?

Betting on ecological renovations and energy efficiency is easier than it seems and it means a good change for us and for the planet. At Withfor we are convinced of this and that is why we are committed to giving you alternatives to live healthier.

For more information, you can contact us or visit us in our Withfor House.

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