Sustainable Architects in Brisbane Specialising in Sustainable House Design
Regardless of their claims, not all architects have the ability to design sustainable homes. Architects and designers have ignored the need for energy efficiency and water conservation until relatively recently. If you want to improve the energy efficiency of your home, you are may need to spend a bit of money on energy or water-saving home improvements. Just make sure the Architect you choose specialises in sustainable house design.
Of course, if you are renovating or building a new home then you have the opportunity to enjoy ‘built in sustainability’, but only if your home is designed by sustainable architects with a track record of building highly sustainable homes. At dion seminara architecture we specialise in creating sustainable house designs for homes in Brisbane and around Australia that use fewer resources saving you money in the long run.
Sustainable House Designs
At sustainable architects, dion seminara architecture we take the following into account when designing a sustainable home so as to minimise negative environmental impacts:-
- Low-impact building materials
- Energy efficiency design including home orientation, prevailing breezes, shading and insulation
- Design durability
- Water harvesting and recycling
A sustainable home designed by dion seminara architecture will be a more liveable and healthier place designed to increase the resource-use efficiency (energy, water and materials) while reducing its overall impact on human health and the natural environment. Our sustainable designed homes integrate themselves with the surrounding landscape and preserve the local habitat. Please contact Principal Architect Dion Seminara if you are contemplating building a sustainable home (07 3899 9450) or are seeking to redesign your current home to reduce its environmental footprint. Alternatively, you may be interested in some of the information further on this page regarding the sustainability of Queenslander design and suggestions for improving the sustainability of homes.
You may too wish to view an example of a renovation of a Brisbane home based on sustainability principles completed by dion seminara architecture.
Sustainable Design was Used in the Early Days
It is quite ironic that many early homes in hot-weather countries in the southern hemisphere (including Australia) always incorporated wide shady verandas. Take the traditional Queensland home in Brisbane as an example. Over time in order to enlarge the interior and provide more rooms within their Queenslander homes, Australians enclosed the verandas and also changed the interior design. As a result through breezes were blocked and the heat protection of the covered verandas was lost.
Fortunately many home owners in Brisbane are now seeking to return their Queenslanders to their traditional glory and in order to provide the additional space they need, rather than enclosing verandas many are seeking a rear extension.
How to Improve Your Home’s Sustainable Design
If you have an older home that does not have insulation, then now would be a good time to get some quotes. Beyond this, do whatever you can to keep your home insulated. If this wasn’t an issue when the house was first designed, investigate the possibility of installing exterior blinds or shutters to improve insulation, and/or fit weather-seals to your doors and windows.
Dripping taps and leaking showers and toilet cisterns can result in a huge waste of water, so be sure to fix any leaks as soon as possible after you notice them. Change shower heads to the water-efficient, slow-flow type and use water sparingly. There are quite a few shower head exchange programmes in Australia where you can swap old shower heads without parting with a single cent.
Think about the possibility of saving grey water, for example from baths and basins, and use this in your garden. At the very least choose garden plants that are resistant to drought and don’t suck up excessive moisture from the soil.
Upgrade your hot water service and install a solar-boosted service. Install solar panels and replace your old electric water heater with an energy efficient solar water heater or with a heat pump that works on solar power. These are efficient and economical, and one of Australia’s greatest inventions.
Whenever you buy new appliances, including washing machines and dishwashers, make sure these are high star rated. Last of all, install a water tank to catch fresh rainwater and have a reliable diversion system fitted to enable you to utilise the grey water from your baths and basins.
Ways to Save Energy
Little things like switching off lights when you leave a room, or resetting thermostats on all heating and cooling equipment, so they do not constantly draw power from the grid can all make a significant saving on resources.
Swimming pool pumps and heaters also use a lot of energy, so don’t forget about these.
You can also cut down on energy usage by installing low-energy globes for all your lighting and by switching off all lights, appliances and computers when you are not using them – however little energy you believe they use. Don’t be tempted to leave computers on standby.