• Kyal and Kara on eco-friendly design

    Kyal and Kara on eco-friendly design

    With a young family, Kyal and Kara are always conscious of being kind to the environment. Here they share their top eco-friendly design tips.

    With the war on waste in full swing, Kyal and I have increasingly become more aware of our choices within our household day to day, plus on a larger scale, with our renovations and their impact on the environment. It’s easy to think that choices made on an individual level will have minimal impact on the world around us, however, if everyone begins to make sustainable choices, we can have a profoundly positive impact on the environment – especially for generations to come. 

    When selecting any building material, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the options available, but a good way to filter through the vast array of options, is to have a look at the environmental impact of each product.

    Insulation

    Heating and cooling can make up to 38% of the home's energy requirements, so a well insulated home will assist in significantly reducing your carbon footprint. Many insulation products, such as glasswool, polyester and cellulose fibre insulation are now produced using recycled content. For example, Bradford’s Glasswool is made of up to 80% recycled glass – including glass bottles that are not suitable for container glass manufacture.1

    Cellulose insulation is primarily made up of recycled paper and generally speaking has the highest amount of recycled content when compared to other forms of insulation. 

    When selecting any building material, it’s also worth noting how easily the material can be recycled after use.

    Paint

    We’re big fans of using paint as a cost effective solution to transform a room or home – however, it’s important to choose a paint that has as little environmental impact as possible. In particular, aim to choose a paint that is low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound).

    Volatile Organic Compounds are chemical compounds that easily evaporate at room temperature, or for example, as paint dries. Exposure to such gases can have potentially serious health implications, and from an environmental perspective, can contribute to 'urban smog'. These issues can be avoided by choosing a zero or low VOC paint – many of which are now approved by the National Asthma Council as a part of Australia’s Sensitive Choice program.

    Recycling and upcycling

    Before commencing any work, take a good look at the existing home and make a plan to reuse any materials that are appropriate to be recycled. It’s important to do this before you lift a hammer, to ensure that materials are not broken or damaged in the demolition phase.

    Not only are you making a great eco-friendly choice and saving cash, recycled materials are often the best features of a renovation – making your project unique – as opposed to a 'cookie cutter' development. Plus, it’s always nice to have a story behind certain design choices, for example, a feature wall using recycled timber floor boards.

    Passive design

    In the planning stage of any renovation, the design should allow the home to take advantage of the climate to maintain a comfortable temperature range.

    Good passive design will ensure less overall energy is consumed, and in turn mean less environmental impact.

    Smart design choices include positioning windows to promote natural cross ventilation, and adding ‘wing walls’ to assist ventilation through windows that sit perpendicular to the prevailing breeze.

     

    1 www.bradfordinsulation.com.au/why-insulate-with-bradford/for-the-environment, 1 July 2018

     

    About the author

    • Kyal and Kara

      Kyal and Kara became the public’s favourite couple of The Block Fans v Faves series and caught the positive attention of the judges – winning multiple rooms. Their down to earth and friendly nature has made them crowd favorites and their skill and design flair has ensured some beautiful renovation results. As a young, enthusiastic, fit and healthy couple, they have an exciting future ahead.  

      Since The Block, Kyal and Kara have gone on to launch their own business, Diverse Design and Construct, and are working on various design and build projects around the country including their own renovation projects.

      Kyal and Kara Demmrich
     

  • Check out our latest offers

    Find your local RAMS Home Loan Centre

  • Disclaimer:

    The information here is of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute financial or tax advice. You should consult your professional adviser, accountant or taxation expert for advice specific to your personal circumstances.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of RAMS Financial Group Pty Ltd ABN 30 105 207 538 (RAMS),  Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) or their related bodies corporate. This article is strictly for information purposes only and neither RAMS, Westpac nor any of their related bodies corporate make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information in this article or endorse the views expressed in it.