Household sustainability and energy efficiency improvements
This information provides guidance on the numerous sustainability improvement measures that can be applied when building an extension or carrying out other alterations to your home.
You can also view and download a PDF copy of this guidance to save to your device for future use.
A householders guide to sustainability and energy efficiency improvements
Energy and water efficiency measures
Triple glazed windowsConsider going beyond minimum Building Regulations requirements and installing triple glazed windows.
Passive daylightThis refers to the installation of large windows in roofs such as skylights. These installations enable more natural light and heat to enter your home, saving energy from a reduced need for artificial lighting and heating. The level of passive heating and lighting can be managed by installing windows with blinds incorporated within the design.
Reclaimed or recycled materialsThe use of reclaimed or recycled materials will reduce the environmental impact, could also save you money and result in the extension harmonising with the existing home.
Soft landscaping, e.g. tree planting and green roofsTree planting can provide shade in summer and increase biodiversity in your garden. Green roofs can also increase biodiversity, reduce surface water run-off and act as a form of insulation.
Dual flush WCs, lower flow taps and water efficient shower headsIf you are installing a new bathroom consider choosing fixtures that reduce water usage. A water efficient shower head can also save gas for water heating.
Rainwater harvestingRainwater harvesting can be as simple as a water butt to collect rainwater to use for watering the garden and washing the car.
Highly efficient lighting schemesLEDs are the most efficient light bulb on the market.
Renewable energyInstead of buying energy from suppliers you could install renewable technologies to generate your own energy. There are a variety of renewable energy technologies available, all with different requirements so it is important that you research the most suitable technology for your home. A large part of the cost of installing solar panels is the cost of scaffolding, if you are paying for scaffolding as part of your extension you may want to explore the potential and suitability for solar panels.
Highly efficient new boilerExtending the size of your home often requires improvements to your heating system and installation of new radiators. A more powerful boiler may be required so consider upgrading to a more efficient boiler.
InsulationYour extension should be insulated to the standards stipulated by Building Regulations, but the rest of your home can also be insulated. If your home has cavity walls a layer of insulation can be blown into the cavity. If you have solid walls applying external insulation at the same time as your extension will ensure the exterior finish to the original building matches the extension.
ApplianceIf you are having a kitchen installed, consider choosing the most energy efficient appliances.
Draught proofing of windows and doorsDraught proofing is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to save money and energy. To draught proof your home block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out.
For more information about energy efficiency, and home upgrades or extensions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about planning, email email@example.com
Listed Buildings and buildings within conservation areas need extra thought about how to improve their energy performance without compromising their special interest. Contact Planning Services, firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a bespoke solution.
Page last reviewed: 15 September 2020