EFFICIENT SUSTAINABLE HOME DESIGN
Heating almost always uses the most energy. The easiest way to reduce operational costs is to reduce heating. A resilient green home is one where we can use minimal energy to run appliances, heat the home and to light the home.
A home with bigger windows facing North can reduce its heating requirements by almost 25% for no cost. It is important to design them right to avoid overheating during summer. Otherwise you will cancel out any heat savings with air conditioning in the summer.
It is imperative to seal and insulate your home properly. Nothing will compensate for leaking heat. Not even solar panels.
Australian family homes are growing bigger and bigger while our families are growing smaller. A smaller house is always the most efficient. It means less materials, less land to excavate. Moreover, it means that there is less space to heat and cool. They are also cheaper to buy or build.
Our family’s sizes change throughout our lives. We start from being a couple. Kids come into our lives and leave us when they are in their twenties (hopefully). There might be a pet or two joining us.
A flexible home is one that accommodates those changes with as little cost as possible. Anticipating these changes and designing for that moment now can reduce a huge financial burden in the future.
You may want to split your home in the future to accommodate multiple families living in it. Think about potential changes to the layout to where the house can be split into a granny flat. Install all the necessary plumbing and wiring during the build. Sometimes even future door openings can be framed. Hence, when it comes to renovating your home, the infrastructure is already in place to create the new granny flat.
This can also be an excellent resale feature, by making it easier for future owners to make those changes themselves.
Reusing reclaimed and local materials:
Knowing the reusable materials ahead of time can save us heaps of time. For example, if there are some old windows that you have found and want to use, they may not fit the standard openings, and it’s best to know the exact size before they get onto site to build.
Before you sign on with anyone ensure you have a very good understanding of your green project and what you want in it. Also, you need to have a very good working relationship where you’re involved.
Hiring an Architect
This is because an Architect provides you with a full service. These are
• Council Approvals
• Contract Bidding to builders
• Contract documentation
• After construction service
Hiring an Architectural Designer
depending on the size, complexity and services they provide. The designer will still ensure that their plans will comply with council regulations. Some designers can give a full service like Architects or partial services depending on what you prefer. Ensure you know your designer well. Some designers have the Architectural qualifications but aren’t registered Architects others have achieved a diploma of design and there are others who have only done the CERT IV in design and construction.
Hiring a Builder
Whatever option you choose, do your research and add and subtract your pro’s and cons. Your research will help you get a final product that you will be satisfied and happy with.