When it comes to creating an efficient sustainable home design, a holistic approach is essential. This involves a thorough understanding of sustainability and design principles. And how they interact with both each other and the environment.
The impact of these interactions will vary from one site to another. And will be influenced by your priorities and your budget.
Core principles for sustainable home design
When designing any of our homes, the core principals we consider are:
- The site, this can include: the slope, trees, natural shading, views, climate, geology of the area, natural wind/breezes in the area, surrounding features, access for vehicles; and availability of services.
- Your priorities and requirements. Including the design, your style and material preferences.
- Your budget. All the decisions we make will take your budget into consideration. We want to ensure your home will be both environmentally and financially sustainable.
- Size of the home. We work with you to design a homes that is the right size for you. Not larger than you require. This will conserve energy in building and living.
- Solar passive design. There are many aspects to this, including ensuring good northern exposure.
- Cross flow ventilation. This will enable the home to cool quickly in summer.
- Balancing reduced air leakage with breathability of the home and air quality.
- Thermal mass, balanced with insulation.
- Embodied energy and the lifespan of the materials and products used in construction.
When designing a home, problems can arise if these core principles are not clearly understood. Or if consideration is not given to how they interact with each other in particular environments.
For example, orientation, insulation and thermal mass should all work together. When properly considered they can achieve a comfortable temperature for your home all year long.
How Climate Can Impact Design
The climate in the area of your new home will influence its design. In some climates where summers are cooler and winters are very cold; east windows can be a positive design feature. However, large east or west windows in climates with hot summers should be avoided. They allow heat to enter. Which result in insulation and thermal mass working against you.
Because of the way climate can impact design, we take time to anticipate how these principles could interact with each other in your design. As a result we are able to design you an excellent sustainable home with high solar passive performance in your climate.
Find out more about how we can work with you to create a custom design for your new home.