With the problem of climate change becoming a serious concern, sustainability has become an important facet in the design and creation of a modern home. Designers find the need to make sustainable homes that combine comfort and minimal environmental impact.
National building codes have incorporated sustainability regulations regarding water management and energy efficiency, so building designers are hard-pressed to create homes that work with the environment rather than against it.
In the creation of sustainable homes, the designers need to consider the three pillars of sustainability namely Environmental, Social, and Economic.
According to experts, several factors are taken into consideration in building environmentally sustainable homes. The use of sustainable materials is necessary, as well as the use of energy and water efficiency methods. Even the biodiversity of the location is considered in landscaping the place and to make sure the natural features are kept and maintained.
All new homes are now required to comply with the energy efficiency standards of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Designs such as roof vents that let hot air escape, double-glazed windows and window shading for insulation and a light-colored roof that reflect heat are all essential in order to pass the strict standards set by BCA.
The use of appropriate materials such as recycled ones and minimal on-site construction waste is also recommended. The effective landscaping of the site means allowing the natural flora and fauna to flourish in the building’s surroundings.
The social factors include the health and comfort of the occupants as well as their safety and security. The occupants should feel comfortable living there, with an ample amount of space and privacy. Access to natural light and ventilation is also essential.
The home should also be designed in a way that prevents the occurrence of accidents and injury. Pathways should be accessible and well lighted. The installation of security fixtures such as alarm systems and sensor lights are highly recommended.
Economic sustainability tackles the financial aspect of the construction. The cost-effectiveness of the materials to be used, as well as the size of the building, should be considered during the design process.
The ongoing maintenance costs are also considered after the construction of the sustainable building. Solar panels that reduce electricity costs are one of the possible elements that would help in lowering maintenance costs.