It may not be obvious, but more and more people are thinking about living in a house that’s kinder to the planet. There is a solid demand for eco-friendly, sustainable homes in every city in Australia. And, these are the features they’re looking for:
- Improved levels of energy efficiency;
- Lower running costs;
- Enhanced air quality and daylighting;
- Use of low allergy and environmentally-friendly building material;
- Water efficiency.
Why would you want to live in sustainable homes?
People have different motivations for adopting a sustainable house design. For most of them, it’s the way to lower bills and to live in a healthier and cozier home.
For example, a family can reduce the risks of having allergy attacks and respiratory illnesses when they build a home that uses low-VOC products and natural materials. A healthy home environment starts with using fewer manufactured or synthetic materials.
Also, living in a sustainable home allows them to live comfortably indoors without relying too much on electrical heaters and air conditioners.
To do this, architects and designers must provide more than a well-insulated, highly-efficient, and leak-free building envelope. Design professionals must design homes that suit its location. Homes uniquely built to fit their sites can utilise the warming sun and cooling breezes in the home design.
Above all, they save tons of cash when you don’t depend on artificial heating and cooling. People are getting tired of paying high utility bills. This explains the emergence of people who want to “go off the grid” and practice being self-sufficient.
The only problem with buying new, ecologically sustainable houses is its price. Some designs tend to be worth a lot more than you expect. This is why some people resort to a renovation which aims to fix errors and add sustainable features to their current homes.
Renovating in a sustainable way.
If a home has issues on its orientation or if it’s difficult to heat or cool, conducting a renovation can make it more comfortable and functional.
Architects and designers handling renovations like this focus heavily on the building envelope. It separates the occupant from the prevailing weather conditions outside. A smart designed and well-planned building envelope will keep a house warm or cool at the right times. It needs to be made from the right materials, has no leaks, and has the right insulation.
Consider the openings of the building envelope (windows and doors) too. The homeowner should be able to open them to allow airflow and close them without losing energy.
The costs and other considerations you should know.
Clients often ask us whether building or renovating will cost them more money and if it’s truly worth it.
Truth is, there are lots of factors that affect the cost of a new build or a renovation. (For instance, building in the outer suburbs is cheaper than the city.) The best thing to do is to sit down with your designer and builder and ask about the quotation they sent to you.
Building a sustainable home is an investment. It’s imperative to know what you’re getting.
You should consider using local and recycled materials on your next building project too. Working with an architect or designer, you will be able to use these materials in a green, innovative home design.