When you are going to build a new home, you can save money with wise building techniques.

Here are some tips to assist you in saving energy and money with the materials. Reducing your carbon footprint means energy saving as well as a cost saving.

· Firstly you should consider making optimum use of sunlight to warm your home.

· Determine from which direction you could use the sunlight best.

· It is advisable to orientate the home 15 degrees east from north on it axis to optimise sun energy.

· Normal plate glass windows loose vast amounts of heat.

· Consider using double insulated reinforced plate glass, preferably tinted glass, this will ensure cool summer days and will trap the heat inside in winter.

· Large north facing windows should be 19% of the floor space of the room.

· Rooms that do not get too much sun should have smaller windows to optimise passive heat.

· Try to minimise roof overhangs by as much as possible to allow heat to bake the outer walls which warm the home. This is similar to the roof design of Tuscan homes we see nowadays.

· Walls facing the sun should be double as a large mass retains heat better.

· Attach timer switches to lights, blinds and air conditioners since controlled environments maintain temperature better.

· Cement floor could have vacuum tubes installed or solar floor heating. The initial cost is not too expensive and the cost saving over an extended period pays off.

· Walls with ceilings should be insulated with heat retention materials. This will also ensure cool rooms in summer.

· Large open-plan areas take longer to reach an optimal passive temperature, try to keep doors and windows closed as much as possible in winter.

The design of the home and layout is thus just as crucial as the orientation to the sun.

My roof has many vacant stands on offer just waiting for your designer home to be built on.

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