In the real estate world, the only thing trendier than stone benchtops and a heated jacuzzi is having a sustainable home. Reducing your home’s carbon footprint is hot on the market, not only for resale value purposes but for your pocket. Using passive design within your home is a sustainable building standard that focuses on renewable sources of energy such as the sun and wind to provide household heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting. If living in a sustainable home is something that is important to you, here are some points to consider when thinking of a new build!
Think about the rooms in your house and how they are going to be thermally affected. Areas of the house you spend the least amount of time in such as the bathroom, laundry and garage should be positioned West. The layout is important when considering what spaces will require the most heat. Usually, the rooms you live in and use the most will need to be positioned on the North to allow for maximum exposure to the sun in winter. North facing rooms will offer nice light in the morning at breakfast as well as solar gain and cool afternoons when preparing dinner. Bedrooms should face East, making for more comfortable summer sleeping.
To build a sustainable home, shading will be a big element to your passive design. Shading is used to reduce summers high temperatures by preventing the sun directly hitting the windows and thus heating the whole house. Shading can be achieved through appropriately sized and positioned eaves or by other means such as verandas, trees and outdoor blinds. While this will be an effective method of cooling your home, it is important to tailor your design to ensure that the winter sun (your thermal source in the colder months) is not blocked.
Passive design takes the natural wind and breezes and transforms them into a sustainable cooling system. The fresh air that will enter your home will not only cool the place down, but it will also eliminate odours and provide good flowing oxygen. To create a sustainable home, the placement of doors and windows is important as well as the number of trees surrounding the property. The design of natural ventilation systems will be tailored depending on the homes location and climate.
To make your home sustainable, good insulation is fundamental in your design. Keeping in mind seasons and daily temperature changes, adding your insulation when building will be the most cost-effective as it acts as a barrier. For more information, check out this article.
Windows can have a huge impact on a home’s thermal temperature, leaving it cooler in winter and hotter in summer. To combat this issue and ensure your home is at a comfortable temperature all year round, make sure you get your windows double glazed. Single glazed high-performance glass can stop up to 0% of solar heat gain and specifying high-performance glazing for your home can add as little as 1% to the total building cost. This will help you save plenty on your energy bills!
Are you looking to embark upon building a sustainable home? Our team can help you decide which kind of project is right for you! Book a call or get in touch on 1800 184 284 today for free, expert advice.