Sustainability and energy efficiency are hot topics at the moment. If the environmental impact of fossil fuel generated power on climate change doesn’t concern you, then chances are that skyrocketing energy prices – and the strain they put on your household budget – probably will.
As we covered in a previous blog, there are lots of things that you can do to greatly improve the energy efficiency of an existing home. However, if you want to achieve the ultimate in home sustainability then these steps aren’t enough – you need to start from the ground up and factor it into the floor plan of your home from the very beginning.
Here are a few things to factor in to ensure that your new home design is as eco and budget friendly as possible.
Open Plan vs Partitioned Space
Open plan living with a light and airy feel is very fashionable at the moment, but the truth of the matter is that it’s horrendously bad for energy efficiency. Big windows that let in lots of light and large, interconnected, flowing living, kitchen, dining and alfresco spaces might look fantastic, but they’re extremely expensive to heat & cool. Adding walls and doors to enable you to partition the space will make this process far more efficient. For those still wanting the open plan feel, incorporating French and rolling doors into your design can be a great way of getting the best of both worlds.
Orientation & Shape
Believe it or not, something as simple and fundamental as the shape and orientation of your floor plan can have a huge impact on the energy efficiency of your home. In warm climates like ours, having a rectangular footprint oriented to face North & South means that your house will catch more sun on the roof and windows throughout the day and require more energy to keep cool.
Passive Solar Design
This revolutionary new design concept takes advantage of a building’s site, climate and materials to minimise energy use by reducing heating and cooling loads. It incorporates materials known as thermal mass to store heat from the sun and warm the house during cooler periods and also uses nighttime ventilation and reduced solar exposure to keep things cool during the warmer months. Houses with good passive solar design can also redistribute heat energy from where it is collected and stored to different areas of the home via conduction, convection and radiation. This, combined with the use of double glazed windows to maximise light levels while providing excellent insulation, can help to drastically improve energy efficiency.
Looking for a company that can help you build a truly energy efficient new home? Get in touch with us today! We have loads of experience helping people build great quality, comfortable homes that are environmentally friendly and will ensure that you’re protected from any electricity price hikes in the future.