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Green Smart Magazine : GreenSmart 2010
58 greensmart 2010 With environmental features becoming de rigueur in new homes, renovations and retrofit projects, it's important to know how to make the most of them so you can live 'greener' in your home. These features may stem from a desire to reduce your impact on the environment, reduce your energy and water bills, improve the indoor air quality of your home, or potentially increase resale prices. Whatever your motive, the passive design principles -- the water, energy and resource efficiency elements -- used in 'building the GreenSmart way' are partly reliant on you doing your bit, too. To begin with, get to know your house by creating a list of the environmental features that have been incorporated or installed in the house. Learn about any specialised maintenance required and share this information with others in the household so everyone shares the responsibility of making the features of your home work at their best. Water • Select water-efficient whitegoods and use these efficiently and with full loads. • Select a minimum of three-star rated tapware and fittings and avoid running water when not required. • Select a minimum of four-star rated toilets and use the appropriate flush. • Plumb for current or future connection to treated greywater or recycled water. • Install a hot water recirculation or plumbing system to reduce hot water lag time and activate any manually operated devices. • Reduce lawn area and select drought- tolerant plant species. • Mulch garden beds and include water holding materials in the soil. • Minimise garden irrigation required and use greywater where permissable. Energy • Select energy-efficient whitegoods. • Where necessary select energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and ensure these are ser viced as required to maximise operational efficiency. • Close and open doors to maximise zoning of your home during summer and winter. • Close and open windows to maximise the capture of cooling breezes and minimise entry of summer heat. • Use ceiling fans or ventilation systems in the home to circulate heated air throughout the house in winter and create a breeze during summer. • Use a clothesline whenever practical or an undercover drying area. • Choose renewable energy providers for your energy supply. smartliving So you've got the green home of your dreams, but do you know how to make it work for you? living in your green home story > Janine Strachan Photo courtesy Solar Dwellings Photo courtesy Third Ecology