FPB Home Assessment Tool

Sustainability

When yesterday's buildings were designed and constructed,  water restrictions, high energy costs and waste volumes were barely considered. Now there is scientific evidence that our lifestyles are having a major environmental impact. A key goal of Future-Proof Building is to minimise our impact on the planet. Choosing more eco-friendly products for when we are building, renovating or improving our homes, recycling waste and using renewable resources all helps to protect the planet for future generations.

Water

Yes No

Well done!

Make sure you drain and thoroughly clean out your tank at least once a year to maintain a good quality of water. Did you know that there are now a huge range of products available, from leaf slides & first flush diverters to inline and UV filters to ensure that rainwater meets very high potability standards.
Household water from your laundry, showers, baths & handbasins is called greywater.

Yes No

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To save more water, wash vegetables in a bowl of cool water when preparing them for meals rather than under a running tap.
A tap that drips once every second wastes 1,000 litres of water per year. A leaking toilet cistern can waste up to 15,000 litres per year. Both are relatively easy to fix yourself by replacing the washer. If you are unsure how to do this or have more complicated system (such as ceramic cartridges instead of taps), consult a plumber.

Yes No

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Every now and again you might want to treat yourself and have a long, relaxing shower. Consider having a bath instead: a really long shower will use more hot water and you can soak for longer in a bath.
Shorter showers save you money. For a household of 4, every minute of showering adds about $80 every year. Put a timer in the shower. Challenge your family all to take 5-8 minute showers.

Early morning or evening Whenever it looks dry N/A

Well done!

Did you know that keeping your lawn to 5cm length rather than cutting it shorter means that your lawn will stay greener for longer and need less water to stay that way?
Collecting rainwater from you roof to water your garden is a great way to cut down your water use. Downpipe diverters, which channel water collected from your gutters into a tank below, are readily available and easy to install. They can even be closed when you don't want to use them. Water collected from a roof can contain a nasty range of pollutants however (such as contamination from bird droppings & dead insects) so do not consider this as drinking water.

With a bucket With a hose N/A

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Consider using collected rainwater to wash your car as well as water your garden.
Consider using collected rainwater to wash your car. Even changing from using a hose to using a bucket to wash your car saves a huge amount of water. Only 32 litres of water are used to wash the average car by bucket (assuming 4 buckets are used per wash). You would use another 368-448 litres per wash to clean the same car if using a hose.

Waste

Yes No

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Did you know 82% of plastic waste in New Zealand still ends up in landfill? Where possible, choose products that are not packaged in plastic. Make sure you wash your containers and remove the lids before recycling. Consider installing under-sink rubbish, compost & recycling sorting units - this will keep clutter cleared away and make the process feel much easier.
Kerbside collection facilities are offered by councils across New Zealand in urban areas. Paper, cardboard, glass and plastics 1-7 are collected in most areas. Many more things can be recycled if you are willing to take them to the recycling centre yourself. Wash your containers and remove the lids before recycling. Consider installing under-sink rubbish, compost & recycling sorting units - this will keep clutter cleared away and make the process feel much easier.

Yes No

Well done!

If you are building or renovating, you can also compost not only food & garden waste but also offcuts and old (clean) GIB®. Gypsum is used as a natural fertiliser and soil conditioner the reuse of GIB® plasterboard into compost provides a similar benefit and reduces the environmental impact from waste going to landfill.
Save money, save your environment and improve your garden by composting and using your compost at home! Food waste decomposes very fast in landfill under anaerobic conditions (without oxygen) and turns into methane gas. Methane is a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. Landfills are the largest source of human created methane. Methane is quickly released into the atmosphere – it can take only 28 to 100 days for methane from landfill to be released. Organic materials also contribute to landfill leachate which can contaminate groundwater systems. If you are building or renovating, you can also compost not only food & garden waste but also offcuts and old (clean) GIB®. Gypsum is used as a natural fertiliser and soil conditioner the reuse of GIB® plasterboard into compost provides a similar benefit and reduces the environmental impact from waste going to landfill.

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FPB - Future Proof Building Principals
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