What sustainability means to me

Hempcrete sustainable building material in construction
Image by wirestock on Freepik

In our early days of starting Lou Projects, we thought sustainability meant recycling materials and reducing landfill. Yes this is still important to us, but ultimately there’s a bigger picture here. 

Sustainability to me now is the mass population having access to high performing homes. Because if you want to make a difference, it needs to be implemented by the masses, not by a small percentage of people that can afford to do it.

We need more supply for better products, which comes with demand, which then comes with competition, which drives affordability. We need to allow for innovation in products, so we can achieve optimal performance while minimising costs. 

Not everyone can build their house out of hempcrete, if you know what I mean.

Let’s keep it simple.

Better building envelopes. Better insulation – including better windows. And better ventilation.

The main focus should be building a house to last – protecting the frame, paying close attention to window penetrations, air tightness and making sure it’s completely weatherproof so vapour/moisture doesn’t rot the frame.

Then it’s all about maintenance – regular upkeep such as repainting, cleaning the gutters, paying close attention to how your house behaves e.g. finding and addressing where any moisture is sitting that’s likely to lead to costly problems. 

Building a house that lasts generations means you’re not having to put energy into continually deconstructing and rebuilding – all of which comes with massive costs in time, money, energy, resources and has the outcome of a whole house pretty much ending up in landfill. 

True sustainability means looking beyond short-term solutions and focusing on long-lasting, affordable and environmentally conscious practices in the building industry. 

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