How to avoid common sustainable design mistakes

Simone Schenkel, Sid Thoo, Penny Guild and Sven Maxa provide some great tips on how to avoid common mistakes. We've pasted some of our favourites below but encourage you to read the full article here.

The first step to getting it right is finding the right team to work with, says Simone from Gruen Eco Design. You need to separate those claiming sustainable design knowledge from those who actually have it. “If a designer or architect says ‘we’re going to put in a rainwater tank and solar hot water and have a six-star house,’ that’s already a good indication they don’t know what they’re talking about,” she says. 

Simone recommends you make sure insulation and gap sealing is done properly during the build, to ensure that the performance you’re paying for and expecting is the performance you’ll receive. She says you should insist insulation be checked onsite, and audited if possible. “I would recommend engaging specialist insulation contractors – a third party – to install and certify the insulation.”

Guild Architects’ Penny Guild says it’s important people understand the difference between thermal mass and insulation to help them choose the right architect or designer to work with and to ensure they end up with a home that is thermally comfortable year round.