Fibre’s sustainable design building tips

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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?

 

Reasons to build an annexe

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If you need more space in your home, building a home extension may naturally be the first option that springs to mind. But, if you haven’t already, why not consider a new-build annexe instead? An annexe can provide all the additional space you need, whilst having a few select advantages over other building options such as an extension.

To house a lodger or loved one

There is a reason that annexes are often referred to as ‘granny annexes’, and that’s because they are often built to house a loved one. With an annexe comes the opportunity to allow this person an increased level of privacy.  If you need more space to accommodate a family member or a lodger of some kind, it may be important to them to have a space which they feel is their own. An annexe can offer a space that allows a feeling of separation and independence, whilst still retaining easy access and strong links to the family home.

For a self-contained office space

Similarly, if the reason you’re looking for more space is because you need to work at home, your very own self-contained office annexe could be the perfect answer. An annexe offers a workspace of your own that is separate from the inevitable distractions of the family home, allowing you to work more efficiently and with a clearer head, and even a separate entrance for visiting clients. Also, when compared with work in a ‘normal’ office, walking across the back garden to get to work seems a lot less strenuous than the average commute!

To allow your design dreams to run wild!

For us here at Fibre Architects, the most exciting thing building an annexe can bring to the table is the opportunity for great design. As a separate entity from the main house, you can often go much further in terms of design than you would with an extension. Sometimes free from the constraints of having to match with the main house, you can often create something exciting and original on your property. Alternatively, you can create a self-contained building that has echoes of the main house, whilst having features that make it its own. The possibilities are endless (as long as they adhere to planning and building regulations of course).

An annexe can be the solution to space issues that you never even thought of! We have years of experience bringing clients’ annexe ideas to life for a variety of purposes. If you want more information on how we can make an annexe that is perfect for your property contact us here.

Happy New Year!

Hello and welcome to our new blog!
We’ll be using this blogging platform to communicate latest news and events in the world of Fibre Architects.  So please check back regularly for updates.

Watch this space!