When innovative technology, sustainable design and inspired architecture merge, a building is created that works seamlessly with the needs of its tenants, simplifies the function being performed and is sustainable for our planet.
There are many ways that sustainable design and technology can be explored when you are building a new home. From energy conservation, to water collection and reuse, or simply the orientation of your home, many variables can be adjusted to create a new home that you are proud to live in.
Building a new home? Top 3 sustainable and innovative designs to inspire you
If you are dreaming of a building a sustainable and innovative home design, look no further than these amazing designs. Here are three of the most eco-friendly and functional buildings in the world. We are totally inspired!
The Edge: Amsterdam
The Edge is an office building in Amsterdam that is both the greenest and smartest- it knows the type of car you drive, how many sugars you want in your coffee, and provides electric chargers to charge your car while you work.
Deloitte created sophisticated app technology that powers The Edge office building. Erik Ubels, Chief Information Officer at Deloitte says that “a building becomes a very important part of who we are and what we want to be”. The Edge allows staff to work efficiently within their environment (controlling lighting, temperature, ordering lunch, and connecting to presentation screens easily), while still reducing the negative impact on the environment.
The Edge reduces its environmental footprint by utilising sophisticated technology:
- Solar panels, both on the roof and the south facing wall, which powers the entire building- including the electric car charging stations
- Rainwater is collected to use in bathrooms throughout the building and irrigate gardens around it.
- Functional design means that smaller spaces are needed for more people- Deloitte has half the number of desks than people.
The Brock Environment Centre
This fascinating building was designed for areas that are prone to flooding. Creating a design that works with the environment rather than against it means that after bad weather, the building does not need to be repaired or maintained. Additionally, this building was designed to run at ‘net zero’ energy and ‘net zero’ water status every year, never using more energy or water than it is producing or collected. Lastly, during construction, recycled materials were used while still maintaining passive design to increase day lighting and sun shading for lighting, cooling and heating.
The ReGen Village, created by Danish architectural firm EFFEKT, is a completely self-sustaining community that produces all its own food and energy. These unique villages were designed around 5 guiding principles:
- Energy efficiency
- Self-sustaining food production
- Renewable energy production and storage
- Water and waste recycling
- Local community empowerment
Homes in these communities have connected greenhouses, solar panels, passive heating and cooling and car charging stations to cut both costs and the negative impact on the environment.
It can seem daunting to incorporate sustainable design into your new home. However, there are many small and easy ways to make a positive impact on the environment. These can also reduce your energy and water bills significantly.
Use passive design: This process allows you to make the most of natural heating and cooling. Simply considering the 7 principles of passive design when building a new home can cut your energy bill dramatically because they can have a huge impact on the natural temperature and light allowed in your new home. By manipulating the design to cool your new home in the hot months, and warming it in the cooler months, you will cut your energy usage significantly.. The 7 principles of passive design are:
- Special zoning
- Thermal mass
Install energy efficient lighting: With 56% of Australian homes currently using inefficient lighting, building a new home is the perfect time to implement sustainable and cost effective lighting. Opting for LED of CFL globes, although more expensive initially, use about 80% less energy, resulting in lower energy costs and less times you have to change the light globe.
Check out this fantastic Sustainability Victoria video to learn more:
Choosing energy efficient appliances: After building your new home, it can be tempting to choose cheaper but less energy efficient appliances. However, this can add up to higher costs associated with running those appliances over a longer period of time. Using the energy efficient indicators when buying appliances can help you cut your energy emissions and spending up to $400 each year.
Installing a water tank: Collecting water, either rainwater or grey-water, can be an investment, however, once used can reduce your water bill in the future. Rainwater can be used for everyday use, including drinking, while grey water can be used to irrigate gardens. This is a small change that you can make to conserve water and cut costs after building your new home.
The process of building a new home to take you into the future, that is sustainable and cost effective, can often be a result of finding the perfect builder. At iBuildNew our mission is to help you find a builder who meets all of your requirements and who can help you make your dream a reality. To find the right builder for you now, head to ibuildnew.com.au or call 1800 184 284 and speak to one of our expert phone consultants.
- Origin Energy – https://www.originenergy.com.au/blog/lifestyle/green-dreams—sustainable-design–the-buildings-we-love.html
- Sustainability Victoria – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj6Bcxvw4kwt-2B9QuUWrYA
- Inhabitat – http://inhabitat.com/utopian-off-grid-village-grows-own-food-in-shared-local-eco-system/