Sustainable development is about using the earth’s finite resources – agricultural land, air, water, fuel and mineral reserves – wisely and without waste so that the developments we create today meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of our children and grandchildren to meet their own needs. As well as minimising our consumption of physical finite resources sustainable development does not detract from the beauty of the natural landscape.
Some things to consider when designing your rural self build.
Keep the size of your house as small and compact as possible
Eliminate little used rooms as much as possible.
Minimise the number of bathrooms and en suites.
Orientate the rooms and windows within the house to maximise the benefits of free heat from the sun directly into the most used rooms? (passive solar heating )
Consider the use of active systems for capturing renewable energy - these include geothermal ground source heat pumps, biomass heating systems (eg wood chip and wood pellet fuelled boilers), evacuated tube solar collectors , wind turbines.
Minimise the energy lost in manufacturing processes and transportation by using natural materials sourced locally or within Ireland as much as possible.
Install water saving technology where possible eg dual flush toilets.
Save rain water for secondary use eg watering the garden
Develop the site so that it protects the best natural features and supports a wide range
of wildlife and bio-diversity
Ensure that your house blends into the landscape and enhances it as much as possible