Designing with Mother Earth in Mind

The Eco Abode

Building, Extending or Renovating your home can be very challenging but a rewarding experience too. Furthermore, the results will always be with you for years to come, for some it will be for their entire lifetime. A sustainable home that is universally designed (designed for accessibilty) is the future of home designs.

1

The Eco Home comes with a lot of features

Starting with a solar passive design that makes the most of natural heating and cooling methods to keep us comfortable all year round. The core component of a solar passive design is orientation. Design your home according to your climate. First and foremost, we should make the most of winter sun to warm up your home in the colder months and also use the cool summer breezes to cool your home in the hotter months. In Western Australia especially, good orientation usually means locating living areas in the North with glazing to the North Elevation to have clear access to the winter sun.

2

Spatial Zones

Design your home for your lifetime. The materials used should be durable and can be easily reused or at-least recycled. When designing your new home think ahead. Are you a couple looking to get married in the future with a growing family? Additionally, what will your life be like once your children are all grown up and have moved out. Without a doubt, a well designed sustainable home cannot only meet your current needs but should adapt to your changing needs without incurring extra costs in the future.

Western Australia has some of the biggest home in the world, yet a smaller home is much easier to maintain, cheaper to build and can achieve higher energy efficiency standards.

3

Building With Sustainable Materials

Thirdly, if you want a truly green home, make sure you put your best foot forward by building using sustainable materials. The use of sustainable materials will certainly reduce the impact of construction of your new home’s environment.

In terms of sustainability and green building materials, brick is probably the best. The process of making fired clay bricks has been around for over 5,000 years and just keeps getting greener. In addition, today’s brick kilns use about 70% percent less energy to fire bricks than just 50 years ago.

Furthermore, sustainable insulation is not only good for the environment but will save you money on your heating or cooling bill. However, from your roof to the floor, there are plenty of environmentally friendly options. Contact us to learn about more sustainable products out in the industry.

4

Natural Heating and Cooling Your Home

With our climate everyone thinks that Australian homes need mechanical heating and cooling. Almost 40% of our energy bills are from mechanically heating and cooling our homes. With a sustainable home designed right we could reduce these. Moreover, strategically placing doors and windows to allow for air flow through the home during summer allows for your home to be naturally heated and cooled.

Most importantly, consider how to make your home more comfortable. Use curtains and blinds, as a result make the most of the sun’s heat and shading to moderate the climate. Furthermore, add ceiling fans to increase air flow.

5

Renewables

Solar Panels are the most common and obvious method of renewable energy.

Solar power doesn’t just have to generate electricity. You can also use it to heat water.

It might seem to use heat from the sun to cool your home, but that’s exactly what solar air conditioning does.

Solar panels

6

Conserving Water

Water is our lifeline Many water systems around the world are currently overtaxed, and some already running dry. We need to do our bit in conserving this natural resource.

Using rainwater can reduce your water bills, provide an alternative supply during water restrictions and help maintain a green, healthy garden. It can also help conserve water resources and reduce environmental impacts beyond the home.

Greywater is ideal for garden watering. Avoid using detergents low in sodium and phosphorus. Apply them below the surface. Treat the grey water appropriately and we can reuse the grey water indoors for flushing toilets and washing clothes. Both of these are significant consumers of water.

Blackwater requires biological or chemical treatment and disinfection before reuse.

Reusing our water

7

Grow your Own Food

Growing your own food isn’t hard. It takes a little time; basic kitchen crops are very forgiving. Really, anyone can learn to grow food pretty easily.

There are many health benefits associated with growing your own food.

1. It helps you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

2. You decide what kinds of fertilizers and pesticides come in contact with your food.

3. It lets you control when to harvest your food. Vegetables that ripen in the garden have more nutrients than some store-bought vegetables that must be picked early.

growing your own vegetables

8

Conscious Living

A healthy home is a healthy family. The home should be entirely healthy and toxic free. From fresh air to minimising electromagnetic fields and wireless radiation through to using materials like natural sealants and paints on floors, wall and ceilings through to organic furnishings like cotton bedding.

Sufficient daylight and fresh air flowing through your home will reduce air pollutants and irritants and avoid exposure to mould and bacteria. Hard wired data lines to the home would reduce the wireless radiation throughout the home.

Paint these days remove a lot of toxic fumes into the air for years after it has been applied. The source of these fumes are a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) which used to essential for the performance of paints. Now we find that quite a few paint manufacturers produce low VOC or also non-VOC variety of paint. These paints are durable and cost effective too. What’s more they are less harmful to the  human health and the environment too.

Renovating OR Extending?

Click here to download our free guide on How to Extend and Renovate your home Sustainably

sustainable housing ebook

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