Sustainability is definitely a buzz word in the housing industry right now. But how sustainable do you make your dream home before it becomes a burden on your budget?
If your budget is tight here are a few relatively inexpensive ways to build in sustainable features into your dream home design
- Correct space planning
- Solar panels
- Water tanks
- Energy efficient fixtures
CORRECT SPACE PLANNING
One of the most cost effective sustainable design techniques is to ensure your space planning accounts for the natural features of your proposed building site. Design techniques like orientation, cross ventilation and building mass are passive solar design principals amongst others which allow the sun to heat up your dream home during winter months, flush excess heat during summer months and regulate temperature across the day.
In the past, solar panel technology was inefficient and expensive. Today’s technology has come a long way with massive improvement in solar energy retention and drastically reduced manufacturing costs. It is now within the reach for most dream home designers to include this technology into their designs.
The type and extent of insulation you will require will depend on your particular geographic location however, to ignore the use of added insulation may save you in construction costs when you build, these savings will be more than lost over the lifetime of the building. Insulation is cheap and easy to install within walls and onto ceilings.
Installing rain water tanks in some geographic areas is more about necessity than sustainability. Whatever your location, collecting and storing rain water will reduce the demand on municipality water reserves. This can only be a good thing. Water tanks these days come in a huge range of styles and configurations and are inexpensive to install.
QUICK AND EASY
In the long term it is the little things in a house that will cost you and the environment the most. Here are some quick and easy methods to help.
- Install low flow shower heads
- Ensure your doors and windows are adequately sealed
- Install good quality window furnishings
- Shut down electrical appliances when not in use
- Use low energy light bulbs
- Install ceilings fans
- Plant a drought tolerant garden
WHAT SUSTAINABLE DESIGN TECHNIQUES WILL YOU BE ADOPTING IN YOUR DREAM HOME? COMMENT BELOW
PS. Take a look at what other DreamHomeDoodlers are doing over at the club!