Common Sense Building

Unfortunately, all building work has an impact on the environment. After all, even driving to site involves fuel! However, the construction phase of our projects produces almost 50% less carbon than the average new build.

What we mean by common sense building is creating low-impact, long-life buildings using as much sustainable and recycled material as possible; focusing on an environmentally conscious approach.

We also enable our clients to offset their carbon footprint and support local wildlife.

How we eco-build:

© Irebuild 2021

We use phases like “eco-building” and “green” with caution. This is because no project is carbon neutral or environmentally-friendly. However, we can minimise our impact. 

There are four stages to Irebuild’s “common sense” building philosophy:

1. Using sustainable methods and materials

  • Recycling and reclaiming waste materials
  • Preserving and restoring original features and structures (rather than demolishing)
  • Sourcing labour and materials locally. This minimises fuel emissions
  • Using low-impact materials such as lime mortar and cob

These steps ensure that the embodied energy (ie. the carbon footprint) of the construction phase is up to 50% less than the average new build.

We calculate the embodied energy of our projects using the Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) Database

We then work with our clients to help offset this cost by planting trees and cultivating habitat for local wildlife (see below).  

2. Creating passive buildings

Passive buildings require almost no energy from conventional heating and cooling systems. This means that they have a relatively small carbon footprint long-term.

This is achieved through a combination of design and materials. For example, we use insulation, living roofs and earth materials like cob. 

As a result, we ensure our buildings stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

3. Designing and installing green energy systems

We also install green energy solutions. This includes rain water collection, thermodynamics, solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal panels whilst seamlessly integrating Tesla Powerwalls and Sonnen energy storage systems, whether it is a new build or 300 year old property in our green retrofit scope.

See our Crackington Haven and  Eco-Learning Centre project pages for examples of our work.

4. Caring for wildlife and the environment

We are happy to adapt our designs, schedule and methods to help protect the native wildlife and foliage.

We also encourage our clients to give back to the environment by cultivating local wildlife habitat and planting trees.