25th Jan 2019
In January, particularly in today’s climate, it isn’t unusual to take a good look at the way in which we live our lives and focus on the small or big things we can do to have a lesser impact on our planet. When planning home renovations, trying to decide on the most economic specification can be intimidating. At BarrKitchens we take every element into consideration, throughout the design process, right down to the materials we choose for manufacture.
By their very nature, bespoke kitchens are manufactured in a way which is material economic. With no 'set ranges' BarrKitchens do not order materials in bulk, which may leave stock sitting on shelves and eventually going to waste. For each and every new design, the team order the exact materials required for each project, ensuring minimum waste. In addition, they carefully select the appropriate materials for purpose, be it a door front or carcass. Using trusted local suppliers and working hard to balance machine use with traditional manufacturing methods, BarrKitchens keep their energy use as low as possible.
New government figures show that the power really is with consumers to make real positive change. New analysis coming from the environmental website Carbon Brief states that new EU product standards on light bulbs, fridges, vacuum cleaners and other appliances have played a substantial part in reducing energy demand. Provisional calculations show that electricity generation in the UK peaked around 2005, but due to the changes in consumer habits energy consumption per person is now back down to the level of 1984 (around 5 megawatt-hours per capital).
Here are a few more ways the team thoughtfully select who and what they work with, to make each kitchen renovation the best it can be for the client, their family, and the environment.
With many white goods and appliance brands considering a four-year lifetime acceptable, we have chosen to go for a brand who’s products, like ours, are built to last. Miele have sustainability at the core of their business, with their appliances having a minimum A+ energy efficiently rating and designed to last a minimum of 20 years of use.
"Say you change from a B or C-rated fridge to an A++ rated fridge. That can halve your energy use from the appliance, so it’s pretty significant.” - Simon Evans from Carbon Brief on the BBC.
In addition, after those years have subsided the appliances boast a very high 85% recyclability.
There are a few reasons why the team often choose Quartz as the worktop of choice. It’s not just for its durability and good looks but it’s also extremely sustainable, unlike granite or marble. The composition that makes up 90% of Quartz worktops is actually the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s continental crust.
There are now a lot of fantastic paint brands with excellent green credentials or who have updated their entire range to be more environmental. Little Greene are a great example of one such brand. Their fantastic range of colours caters for so many and keeps the BK designers coming back to them again and again. Their water-based paints have a virtually zero VOC content, Little Greene recently reformulated their oil based paints to contain sustainable vegetable oils and their paint tins are made using over 50% recycled steel, just to name a few of the great reasons to use this brilliant British based firm.
Having touched on have spoken before about the benefits of installing a boiling water tap not long ago, eco-Jan reminds us that they are more than just convenient; these clever units have a measurable impact on electricity use. By not having to fill a kettle every time you want boiling water and only heating exactly what you need, the savings start immediately also offering filtered water and a range of finish options.
Amazingly, since 2005, the biggest impact of the UK has not been the switch over to renewable energy sources, although it is a close second. The number one cause in the reduction on the UK's carbon footprint has been by the millions and millions of us who have diligently switched over to energy efficient light bulbs, LEDs and energy efficient appliances. We include lighting in all our kitchen designs, opting for warm white LEDS for ambient workable lighting schemes that enhance your bespoke cabinetry.