As time goes by, we are becoming increasingly conscious about issues like climate change and the impact that our lifestyles are having on the planet. Many of us are making choices to try and reduce the harmful effects we have on the environment, whether that is by using public transport instead of driving, recycling or using low energy light bulbs.
There are numerous options to live our lives in a more environmentally friendly way, and there’s also another great opportunity for you to help fight climate change with the way your home is designed too.
Sustainable architecture carefully considers design factors such as the materials used, energy efficiency and the location and orientation of the property to try and ensure the finished building is as eco-friendly as possible.
Here at Fibre Architects, sustainable home design is at the forefront of our minds when advising our clients, so we thought we’d put together a few tips on how to design an environmentally sustainable home.
Use sustainable materials
Locally sourced sustainable building materials should be a top priority wherever possible. and using reclaimed or recycled materials as well as more natural products that don’t require a lengthy manufacturing process can all reduce the environmental impact your home has on the environment.
East-facing homes are best
If possible, there is potential for energy to be saved by opting to build an east-facing rather than a west-facing home. This will maximise your home’s sun exposure and reduce the amount of time you have to have the heating on, saving you money and energy. South facing pitched roofs are usually preferable for solar renewable technologies though.
Install a rainwater harvesting system
Rainwater harvesting systems collect rainwater from your home’s roof and store it in a tank. This water can be used in sprinkler systems and toilets and can reduce your impact on the environment.
Smaller homes are better
The unfortunate truth is that the larger the home, the more money is spent trying to heat it, and the more resources and land it takes to build it on. Opt to keep your home a manageable size in order to maximise the sustainability potential, and keep your carbon footprint down.
Insulation, insulation, insulation
Make sure the design of your home allows for it to be sufficiently insulated. Having a well-insulated home reduces the amount of energy that is used to heat it. Read more about the importance and regulations for home insulation here.
Air tightness within the building fabric is also important (with controlled and adequate ventilation) to reduce heat loss and therefore energy demand.
Have double or triple glazed windows fitted
As you have probably gathered by now, keeping heat inside your home is one of the key ways to save energy and reduce your home’s impact on the environment.
Make sure any design for a new home includes double or triple glazed windows as standard, and of course – if you live in an older home, you can still install more efficient replacement windows or consider secondary glazing options.
But remember you should also ensure that the house is not inadvertently designed to suffer from overheating due to excessive solar gains through too much glazing or heat generating appliances such as computers, so solar control glass, shading or mechanical ventilation may also need to be considered.
These are just a few ways that your home can be designed in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way, and we haven’t even mentioned Passivhaus design, all the renewable energy options, smart home technologies (including motion sensing lighting and heating), bio-diversity and sustainable drainage solutions amongst other things!
If sustainable home design is something you have been thinking about, here at Fibre Architects we are experts in this field! So why not get in touch to arrange a free telephone consultation today?