Sustainability has been emerging as a significant consideration in the planning and development of both residential and commercial projects. This gravitation towards sustainability is due to the Government standards and a general shift in the general opinion to preserve precious resources such as energy, potable water, and ultimately hard-earned money.
Australia experiences a varied range of climates, from hot tropical zones to frosty areas. Sustainable designs aren’t the same everywhere. Designers and building designers need to consider this varying climatic zone to design eco-friendly homes.
With the fundamental concepts of sustainable building, you can successfully create eco-friendly houses and office spaces.
NSW introduced BASIX report and certificate to promote the development of sustainable residential dwellings.
What Is The Definition Of Sustainable Homes?
A sustainable home can be defined as a residential development that has been constructed using materials and techniques that can save precious natural resources and renewable sources of energy while minimising building and future maintenance costs significantly.
Sustainable residential dwellings have a low impact on nature and the environment. These homes are generally more resilient to natural calamities, follow efficient mamufacturing protocols, and also offer several health benefits for the occupants.
It is recommended to get your building design, NABERS Rating, and BASIX documents prepared by a professional building consultant to avoid any error and unnecessary delay in the process.
Keys Factors To Consider For Sustainable Building Design
Location Of Your Project And Orientation
Ideally, the living areas of your residential home should be designed to enjoy the benefit of the sun coming through the windows, thus ensuring passive heating and lighting. During the summer season, the sun is positioned almost overhead. Therefore adequate shading by trees or artificial shades can ensure no direct sunlight heats the interior of your living spaces.
Natural construction materials offer better ecological value, such as:
- Ceramic bricks
- Vegetal fibres
- Mortars with lime
Synthetic building materials that involve toxic or radioactive materials (plastic, synthetic fibres, lacquers, etc.) should be prevented as much as possible.
High-Performance And Quality Windows
Did you know that windows function as huge energy holes and contribute to a significant loss of energy (approximately)?
Replacing poorly insulated windows with more specialised ones will enable you to save considerable energy and enjoy a more pleasant living environment.
For hot climatic zones, windows with a low solar gain are ideal. Such windows conduct less heat inside the living spaces. You can opt for reflective and double-glazed windows with adequate ventilation channels.
Windows and glazing are important considerations for the BASIX report.
For colder climates, highly-insulated frame windows having a low U-value is ideal. To reduce heat loss, triple-glazed windows with vacuum panels are recommended.
Use Of Natural Paints
Natural or eco-friendly paints are always better for the environment. Silicate paints are the healthiest choice since they use safe ingredients, are fire and pollution-resistant. It allows your walls to breathe and ventilate.
Light colours can more efficiently reflect sunlight, helping to keep your interior cool. While dark shades can absorb the sun’s energy more efficiently, thus generating more heat.
NABERS energy rating for commercial spaces doesn’t just include energy rating but also waste generation and other sustainability factors.
Proper ventilation avoids the build-up of toxic gases, pollutants, and air sealing inside your living spaces. Provision for ventilation should be considered while integrating certain elements to the construction, including windows, doors, skylights, etc.
Skylights are a great heating factor for colder climatic zones. Skylights allow the entry of winter sun. They also enable considerable saving energy, enhance lighting, ventilation, and heating.
A significant number of skylights in an adequate location will help you save electricity during the daytime.