Green Home Design can mean many things to different people. To clarify, this term generally applies to houses that have been built from sustainable materials to minimize the carbon footprint and harnessing technology to minimize the use of energy and water.
These specific eco home design measures build on the usual good design strategies such as appropriate orientation, the positioning of rooms, window sizes and locations, etc. Mark Lawler Architects can provide a range of services to fulfill these requirements. Within the building industry, research and investigation into new materials and energy conservation techniques are on-going and has expanded significantly in the last 10 years.
Through this research, it is now possible to build a completely autonomous eco-friendly home, a house that does not require connection to any of the usual services including water supply, electricity, and sewer drainage. The limits on the extent that these green measures are included in any house are now largely determined by the Owners dedication to achieve the required results and also the provision of the appropriate budget to include these measures.
“By positioning the principal rooms to gain the benefits of the Northern aspect many of the benefits of passive heating and cooling can be obtained”
Mark Lawler Architects can provide advice on the selection of the appropriate materials for use in the construction of the building including the external and internal finishes. For example, we can provide advice on the appropriate levels of insulation for the floors, walls and ceilings to minimize heat gain and loss.
The selection of the appropriate glass can also have a large bearing on energy conservation. Currently, there is a range of glasses available including double glazing and low-E glass which have significant benefits when compared to normal glass.
The design of a green home commences with the site selection and siting the house to the most appropriate orientation. By positioning the principle rooms to gain the benefits of the Northern aspect many of the benefits of passive heating and cooling can be obtained. Through careful internal planning efficient cross-ventilation can be achieved. The design of the roof and the appropriate eave overhangs with the use of sunscreens can ensure that only the desired sunlight is admitted into the building at the appropriate times.
The correct selection of household appliances and lighting is important with energy conservation. In particular, the selection of the hot water heating system has a major bearing on the energy usage. Today there are a number of water heating systems available including solar panels, electric heat pump, and instantaneous gas systems. The appropriate system needs to be selected depending on the house, roof design and orientation.
Another consideration is the method of heating or cooling that may be required depending on the local climate, subject to the services available the options may include gas heating, in-slab floor heating or other energy efficient systems. Automation is another potential energy saving strategy which is becoming more commonplace.
Computerized systems and controllers now allow for automatic control of:
Mark Lawler Architects can provide advice and design expertise to incorporate these eco home design measures seamlessly into the house so that not only are the important environmental targets met but also the house is a comfortable and enjoyable dwelling.
Mark Lawler Architects can also provide advice on the costs of these measures and how the integration of the various systems can provide the maximum benefit. Call (02) 4942 5222 to discuss your green home design needs.