For anyone building a new home, or renovating an old one, there are an overwhelming number of issues to be considered. The concept of ‘sustainability’ is a further challenge but one that is really worth facing.
“Sustainability” recognises that we are using the earth’s resources faster than they can be replenished. It seeks to develop a more sustainable way of life in order to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the many opportunities that we now have.
And it isn’t just a moral or ethical issue. Choosing to design and build a sustainable home has real day to day benefits. A sustainable home will be more comfortable, have lower running costs, and ultimately have a higher resale value. Furthermore, a sustainable home built the Footprint way will cost no more to build than a normal, run of the mill house. Sustainability makes sense at all levels.
To reduce a home’s non renewable energy requirements, the starting point is the concept of passive solar design. The orientation, building materials and features of a solar passive home allow solar energy to be harnessed to warm it. Sunlight is allowed to flood the living areas on a cold winter day but, in summer, the home will be cool and shady. Meanwhile, the use of thermal mass within the well insulated envelope of the building will reduce temperature fluctuations.
To maximise these and other opportunities, a new house must not only be tailored to its owner’s needs but also to the natural advantages and drawbacks of its setting. But no block of land is perfect and if you have a steep south facing block, or a fabulous view to the west, then the simplest principles will need thoughtful adaptation.
When we design your home, we will give careful consideration to the following:
For more information on all of these sustainability issues click here.
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