Building Green Can Save

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Basic Questions to Ask

A few simple questions to ask your service provider or supplier to help guide you to build green:

SERVICE PROVIDERS

Architects and Designers

Can you show me some of your designs that include passive solar heating and cooling, grey water and water saving systems, that you protect the natural landscape and that you use recycled and sustainable materials?

Do your designs meet compulsory NatHERS and BASIX requirements?

Are you a member of the Green Building Council?

 

Builders and Contractors

Do you have experience in passive solar design, solar hot water, grey water design and systems, water and energy conservation and use recycled and sustainable materials?

Do you provide recycling facilities for onsite materials?

Do you have green accreditations and training for example HIA GreenSmart,,  Green Living Builder or a member of the Green Building Council Australia?

 

Carpenters

Do you use and promote timber sourced from the Forest Stewardship Certified and Australian Forestry Standard, reclaimed or recycled timber and alternatives to timber products such as bamboo?

Do you use products that are certified with the Good Environmental Choice Australia or Ecospecifier?

Do you use green paints and finishes?

Do you provide recycling facilities for onsite materials?

 

Electricians

Are you green certified for example by EcoSmart ElectriciansGlobal Green Electricians , or ECA

Can you provide me with advice on the latest eco technology, energy saving systems and appliances?

 

Insulation Installers

Are you fully insured and experienced at installing insulation?

Do you meet all insulation standards and local council R-Value requirements?

Do you use insulation that is made from cellulose or recycled-content?

Do you use products that can be recycled?
 

Painters

Do you have a GreenPainters Certification?

Do you use low or no VOC paints, natural paints, finishes and eco wallpaper?

Do you use products that are certified with the Good Environmental Choice Australia or Ecospecifier?

Do you use environmentally friendly ways to clean and dispose of left over paints?

 

Plumbers

Are green certified for example by The GreenPlumbersEnviroplumbers , Eco Smart Plumber?

Can you provide me with advise on the latest water saving products and systems for both inside and out?

Do you use products that are certified with the Good Environmental Choice Australia or Ecospecifier?

 

Landscape Architect / Designers

Can you show me some of your sustainable designs including water conservation efficiency and native Australian species selection.

Do you use fertilisers made from green waste products, natural products, and fertilisers that are non toxic to the environment?

Do you use and promote timber sourced from the Forest Stewardship Certified and Australian Forestry Standard , reclaimed or recycled timber?

 

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GREEN PRODUCT SUPPLIERS


Bricks

What type of “green ‘ bricks do you have or use?

If they are “new” bricks, are they manufactured from some recycled material?

Are they ‘fly ash bricks ‘ which are manufactured from waste material from coal fired plants?

 Are they ‘recycled’ bricks from demolition sites?

Are they Mud/Earth bricks?

 

Bathroom / Laundry and Kitchen

Is your timber sourced from the Forest Stewardship Certified and Australian Forestry Standard , reclaimed or recycled timber and alternatives to timber products such as bamboo or cork?

What is the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) rating in stars on your water appliances?

Are the paints used Low-VOC paints, natural paints and finishes?

Are some of your products manufactured using some recycled materials?

What are composting toilets and worm septic systems?

How can we more efficiently use my blackwater and grey water?

What is the Energy Labelling Scheme rating on electrical appliances?

 

Concrete

 Is it made from some recycled materials for example fly ash or recycled glass?

 

Decking

Is your timber sourced from the Forest Stewardship Certified timbers and Australian Forestry Standard, reclaimed or recycled timber and alternatives to timber products such as bamboo?

Are some of your products recycled or reclaimed from demolition sites?

Are the paints low or no VOCs, natural paints and finishes?

Are some of your products manufactured using some recycled materials?

  

Fences/Timber

Is your timber sourced from the Forest Stewardship Certified and Australian Forestry Standard, reclaimed or recycled timber and alternatives to timber products such as bamboo?

Are some of your products recycled or reclaimed from demolition sites?

Are the paints used low or no VOCs paints, natural paints and finishes?

Are some of your products manufactured using some recycled materials? 

  

Flooring  (also includes carpets, pavings)

Is your timber sourced from the Forest Stewardship Certified and Australian Forestry Standard, reclaimed or recycled timber and alternatives to timber products such as bamboo or cork?

Are some of your products manufactured from Certified Organic natural fibre or clay and plant based products?

Are some of your products reclaimed or recycled from demolition sites?

Do your products provide a permeable paving solution, which minimises surface rainfall runoff by allowing rainwater to filter through paving to ground water?

 

Insulation

Do your products meet all insulation standards and local council R-Value requirements?

Are your insulation products made from cellulose or recycled-content?

Can your products be recycled?

 

 Lighting

Can you supply high-energy efficient florescent globes or LED lights?

Can you give me advise on high-energy efficient lighting unit/systems for example lighting systems that are 100% powered by photovoltaic?

 

Paints

Are your products low or no VOC paints, natural paints, finishes and eco wallpaper?


Roofing / ceiling

Do you use products that are reclaimed or recycled from demolition sites?

Do you use products that are manufactured from natural products or recycled materials?

Or do you use other materials that have an environmental benefit (grass roofs, guttering, rainwater harvesting, solar panels etc)?

Do you use products that enhance the thermal performance of the roof so no artificial heating or cooling is required?

Is the timber you use sourced from the Forest Stewardship Certified and Australian Forestry Standard , reclaimed or recycled timber and wood products produced from 100% renewable and sustainable plantations?


Solar

Can you advise me on the latest solar heating, panels and hot water systems?

 

Walls

Is your timber sourced from the Forest Stewardship Certified  and Australian Forestry Standard , reclaimed or recycled timber?

Are the wood products produced from 100% renewable and sustainable plantations?

Are some of your products certified with Good Environmental Choice and Ecospecifier?

Are some of your products manufactured using some recycled materials and/or natural fibers?

Do you use products that have been reclaimed or recycled from demolition sites?

What types of bricks do you use?

Are the paints used low or no VOCs paints, natural paints and finishes?

 

Water Systems

Can you advise me on the latest solar heating products and systems?

Can you advise me on products and systems that significantly increase water efficiency and conservation from collection to distribution?

What types of rainwater collection products do you provide including roofing gutter systems to rainwater tanks?


Windows and Doors

What Window Energy Efficiency Rating (WERS)stars do your products have (3 stars an above are better)?

Are some of your products certified with the Good Environmental Choice Australia and Ecospecifier?

Do you use low or no VOC paints, natural paints and finishes.

Do you use and promote timber sourced from the Forest Stewardship Certified timbers, reclaimed or recycled timber?

Are the wood products produced from 100% renewable and sustainable plantations?

Are some of your products recycled or reclaimed from demolition sites?

Can you advise me on the different types of glazings, films and seals for glass that help eliminate the need for artificial heating and cooling?