When taking on any build there is a certain amount of planning and understanding required. There are many ways in which you can research different methods, materials and design and work out which are best suited to your needs. There is a vast array of information, all you need is Google. But, is this all correct? Is it all helpful? You need to know what to look for, what to believe and what not to believe!
If this is your first eco build and you're starting from scratch, (we all have to start somewhere), then I would suggest seeking out the help of an expert. There are many places you can go for this. ATSPACE (https://atspaceltd.co.uk) has a number of experts who will be able to point you in the right direction. Use them, feed off their knowledge and expertise. You will have to undertake all of the usual compliances, water testing, air testing, extractor fan testing etc and everything in between. However, with an eco build you will need to be able to reach the highest standard in these compliances. What you must remember is even the design of your build can have an impact on the eco standard. So, you should find an architect who understands the impact and who will be able to implement this into your design. This doesn't mean that you can't have the home that you want. Eco isn't there to stop or hinder your dream it is there to enhance it. Your architect will be able to work with an assessor and by getting these people together your green build is half way there.
Your next step is to think about what level of 'green' you want to go to. As with anything you can just reach the basic level or you can aim to surpass that. Let's face it, there is no point in going through all of this and trying your hardest to be able to be a part of the future of construction if you don't aim for the highest of eco that your budget will allow.
You must understand that whatever material you decide to use will also affect your build's eco standard. You need to know what you ultimately want from your materials in both style and use. You must use materials that are fit for purpose and each type has its own pros and cons list. Talk this through with your architect and assessor to work out what will suit your build best. With green technology you don't need to compromise on the style of your home. This is often thought to be the case and sometimes is the reason why people steer away from building green; but things have come so far. There are no compromises with eco standard anymore, there is just a bright future to look forward to.
When you're employing workers to help with your construction it is best to make sure that they understand what you're trying to achieve and preferably have worked with your materials, or at least similar, before. I know everyone has to start somewhere but if you're doing this for yourself then trust the experts and work with those who can help you learn. One day, when you've completed your build and moved on to the next you can repay the favour and pass down any knowledge you have to others. This is your chance to help to shape the future of construction.