18 Nov 2011

‘Green design’ – Will your home really be green ?

Services | Tips and Advice
Green Design

Is Your Home Design Green?

Climate change is a hot topic at the moment, regardless of people’s views on the carbon tax, most people would agree that using less non-renewable resources and building cost-efficient homes is a worthwhile objective.

And because of this common belief, the ‘sustainable building’ and ‘eco-housing’ industries have grown in size over the past couple of decades.

It is a large market and plenty of businesses in the building industry are keen to promote their so-called ‘green’ credentials. There are lots of builders, draftspeople and building designers that claim to understand eco-housing design principles but do they really?

As an architect, I have a very solid understanding of eco-housing design, not just theoretical, but in a practical sense as well. My own business – dion seminara architecture – is carbon neutral thanks to our significant investment in solar power generation. So when I talk about sustainability I am actually walking my talk. I understand it and the benefit that eco-housing designs can offer.

Does green design really make a difference?

Truly understanding green design and eco-housing principles makes a massive difference when it comes to designing homes. For example, when I am looking at a project I am looking for ways to minimise the impact of any excavation and construction work on the site itself, particularly the impact on any native plants and animals. A lot of other so-called ‘green’ companies do not look at this.

When looking at the materials to be used during construction I always consider how appropriate those materials are for the local climate. Sustainable materials are always recommended to my clients to create Green homes. Timber is actually surprisingly environmentally friendly, but only some forms of timber can be considered so and the manner in which those timbers are harvested should also be considered.

Materials also play an important role in liveability and the cost of running the home. Some materials have natural insulation qualities that can lessen a buildings dependency on electricity consumption.

Water resources are a major consideration when designing a home. It wasn’t that long ago that Australia was in the grip of a significant drought and whilst we have recently had rains we will no doubt face long dry periods again and perhaps in the very near future. Therefore considerations to things like rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, water conservation practices and fittings are important. It might come as a shock to some so-called ‘green’ building designers but there is a lot more to green architecture than throwing up a rainwater tank.

Do they walk their talk?

So if building in a sustainable way is important to you. If having a home that is cost effective to run is important to you. And if looking after the planet for future generations is important to you then you need to think long and hard about who you get to design your home.

It’s really not enough to simply choose someone on the basis that they claim to practice green design or eco-housing principles because very few truly understand sustainable building let alone practice it. If they truly did understand it you would expect to see those principles incorporated into their own buildings and businesses, but so few do.

At dion seminara architecture we not only understand it and practice it with our clients’ homes, we also practice it in our business and home lives as well.

So if you truly want a green home that is eco-friendly and environmentally responsible then contact us today and let dion seminara architecture create a sustainable home that perfectly suits your lifestyle needs.

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