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Sustainably-sourced materials 'important for home improvements'

Individuals planning to embark on home improvement plans have been advised of the benefits of using sustainably-sourced materials.

Gordon Miller, co-founder and sustainability and communications director of Sustain Worldwide, said the first areas individuals should look at when aiming to make their home more sustainable is insulation - as 35 per cent of all heat loss in the home typically takes place through the walls and roof.

Following this, homeowners should utilise products and materials that are sourced sustainability, such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) timber or carpet tiles, as they will then be sure these products are coming from renewable or recycled sources.

Mr Miller commented: "Increasingly, the amount of time to achieve return on investment is reducing when using sustainable products and materials, as factors such as innovation and market supply and demand have an increasing impact."

He added that other measures homeowners can employ to advance their green credentials include the use of low-flush toilets, aerated taps or other water-saving devices, with many of those systems very simple to retrofit into a property in order to boost its sustainability.

Indeed, tap widgets can cost pennies to purchase, but could save homeowners countless litres of water per year, in turn lowering their bills and delivering a very fast payback.

Meanwhile, Andrew Eagles, managing director at Sustainable Homes, recently argued the government's backtracking on its plans to ensure mandatory green home improvements are carried out whenever Brits take on a home improvement are a "missed opportunity" to boost the country's sustainability.

He noted: "Getting energy efficiency improvements in at a time when people are making changes is a great opportunity. It can reduce fuel bills and the green deal provides a low-cost loan to do it."

Mr Eagles added that draught reduction is also an excellent method for making savings both on the level of fuel consumption in the home and on bills. 

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