Sustainability is not a new thing, its been around for years! How many farmhouses along the line of Hadrians Wall are built with stone from the actual wall, reusing natural materials? Windmills have harnessed energy from the wind for centuries and the use of boreholes to supply fresh water is also an old technique.
In more modern times we have been looking at technologies such as geothermal heating, photovoltaic cells, solar panels and green roofs to name but a few! During the design of a building clients need to look very carefully at the costs of being self sufficient and as green as the capital costs often have a long term payback period, although in current and future times your buildings value should have risen as it is becoming desirable to have a building with low running costs.
Simple ways of being sustainable are to re-use materials such as stone and natural slate, use materials that have been recycled or can be recycled. Over insulate to keep your carbon footprint down and source local materials.
Our team at PJC would be happy to advise you on any of the above.