Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

How to Design a Sustainable Home

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

How to Design a Sustainable Home

Article excerpt

A NEW-BUILD home represents a blank canvas in so many ways.

Here are some of the most effective ways to make your new home more sustainable, according to Emma Sorenson on

Check local building regulations

State and federal governments, as well as local councils, are keen to see greener buildings so check which building guidelines and regulations will apply to your new home.

Depending on where you live you may even need to adhere to regulations to make your home bushfire safe, which affects the materials you can use and the construction of any dwelling.

Plan it properly

A good architect will look to incorporate design elements that minimise energy without compromising on comfort, which many include things like increasing the natural light and generating good airflow.

Avril Jackson runs an architecture studio and recently designed her own new home to include a lot of passive green ideas, alongside mod-cons like air-conditioning.

"I wouldn't describe it as completely green, but we have low-E glass to control heat flow, concrete floors as thermal mass, and deep balcony overhangs to protect the internal areas from summer sun," Ms Jackson explained.

"Our stairwell and kitchen area are used as a ventilation stack, where hot air rises and can escape through windows and doors at the top, [and] we also have glass louvres throughout to maximise cross breezes.

"We are hoping the way it is designed will allow a lot of cross ventilation and we won't need to use the air con much."

Use sustainable materials

Using sustainable materials such as reclaimed or sustainably farmed timber, or recycled stone can go some way to making sure building your new home doesn't chew up too many of the earth's resources.

There are now a number of eco-friendly home builders that use only sustainable materials, and even some of the traditional building companies offer sustainable options.

But sometimes even the best plans have to be altered. …

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