If being ‘eco’ sounds like a compromise, or something that other people do, then consider taking a small step towards sustainability instead. Even the smallest action will make a difference and big wins can often be found without the need for massive expenditure or compromise. Our sustainable big wins for your period property, and the environment are:
1. Sign up to a ‘green’ tariff for your electricity.
2. Replace your old boiler with a modern gas alternative. Consider air source heat pumps or other passive solar technology.
3. Think about potable water usage, add water efficient appliances, low flow aerated taps and showers. Add a rainwater butt for watering the garden.
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4. Challenge your architects and interior designers to offer solutions. Not every sustainable idea looks possible initially, but when you analyse the long term benefits you can start to justify any additional design complexity or upfront cost.
5. Can you conserve and repair parts of the period property rather than replacing it entirely? There is an incredible amount of waste in knocking down and replacing old buildings. Refurbishment or repair is the new sustainable option.
6. Upcycle fittings, and think about what you really need to change and what you can retain.
7. Energy performance. The single most important aspect of upgrading a period property is thermal performance. Most property owners do not know just how much energy flows out of chimneys, doors, roofs, windows and floors. When you start a new project have a hit list for what you can change easily - the easy wins. At MWAI we start with the loft and floor insulation, then do the windows. Next, we reduce the air leakage, insulate the walls, and reorganise the mechanical ventilation.
8. There are many ways to reduce the air leakage. Add a draft lobby to the front entrance, block up existing underused chimneys, reseal leaky sash windows and add blinds or curtains to windows. If you have undertaken a full refurbishment then combine improved air tightness with a whole building ventilation fresh air system with heat recovery.
If you have managed to get to the bottom of this article, you are likely to be serious about looking trying to make a difference. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0207 258 0332. We are happy to help and enjoy meeting new people.