A major consideration when choosing an architect to design your home, is sustainability. Sustainable home design is not only environmentally responsible, looking after the interests of future generations, it’s also financially desirable, resulting in lower running costs for your home.
But it might surprise you to know that not all architects are what you would describe as ‘sustainable architects’. Yes, they will have learnt about sustainable home design, but for many it’s not an area that they focus on. Many architects and building designers choose to do the bare minimum in terms of sustainable design.
Of course, sustainable home design is, in general terms, a relatively recent concept. It’s only been in the past couple of decades that people have begun to focus on the importance of water conservation and energy efficiency. But it’s a concept that we at dion seminara architecture have embraced. So much so, that we have invested heavily in solar production in our own office. You can even check out our solar analytics display here to view our solar production and the number of kilograms of CO2 that we save each day.
By choosing sustainable architects to design your new home or renovation you can enjoy the benefits of ‘built-in sustainability’. Lower running costs, healthier living conditions and low water consumption are just a few of the advantages you will achieve in choosing Brisbane architects with a great track record in sustainable home design.
It’s little wonder that sustainable home designs have become so popular when you consider all the benefits they offer.
In a world of ever-changing climatic conditions, environmentally sustainable home design is more important than ever. As experienced sustainable architects we create home designs that work with the local conditions, creating comfortable homes that are economical to run and beautiful to live in.
We do this by fully getting to understand your needs and the prevailing conditions around your home. From there we carefully plan ever aspect of your home design in the finest detail to create the ultimate home for your needs.
Your home design will feature passive climate control, dramatically reducing the need for auxiliary cooling. Using our extensive experience, we will create a bespoke design for your home that perfectly meets your needs whilst being environmentally responsible. Careful selection of materials and appliances will further enhance the ability of your home to respond to our changing climate. By selecting materials that repel heat, rather than absorbing it, and screening areas from direct sunlight, we can create a stunning home that’s naturally cooler in summer, and warmer in winter.
The key is design. Our priority is to create designs that look great and suit your lifestyle, whilst being energy efficient and environmentally friendly. You will enjoy low running costs thanks to not needing to rely on HVAC systems, or other forms of artificial climate control. Just imagine being completely comfortable without needing to turn on an air-conditioner. That’s what you’ll get with an environmentally sustainable home design from dion seminara architecture.
The measure of great architecture is how comfortable you feel within your home. Great home designs are created around the needs of the individuals. They are built around the types of social interactions that are important to you, the owner. We analyse your needs in great detail to ensure that we achieve the perfect social connections within your home.
Do you work from home? If so, do you need greater privacy in your working environment? What are the key social considerations in your day to day life? Do you like to entertain? If so, what type of social atmosphere do you want to create?
Once we have a detailed understanding of your needs, we can then start creating the space that is perfectly tailored to your needs. We can create a socially sustainable home that offers you a safe and secure environment. One that is spacious and open yet offers privacy and comfort. Using sustainable design principles, you will benefit from a home that utilises natural light and cooling breezes, creating a healthier, happier home. A space that you will love to come home to.
Perhaps the most important aspect of sustainable architecture comes in the form of economic sustainability. Your budget need is important to us. The design of your home needs to achieve your goals within that budget, which is why we offer cost estimates very early on in the design process.
When designing your home, we are also mindful of future costs. The design, materials and appliance selection will all have an impact on the running cost of your home after completion. For this reason, we incorporate sustainable design principles to create climate responsive designs. These designs save money across your energy, water and ongoing maintenance bills without compromising the balance of form, function and aesthetics.
All of this is only possible through careful planning. Things like choosing the right types and amount of insulation, even the choice of materials can combine to save you tens of thousands of dollars over the lifespan of your home. Appropriate shading and screening not only reduce your power consumption, but it also improves the overall comfort of your home.
As experience sustainable architects, we can create the ideal home design for your needs, within your budget. Your home will be perfectly tailored to suit your unique needs. A bespoke design that offers the highest levels of comfort, whilst achieving low running costs.
I mentioned earlier that sustainable house design is a relatively recent phenomenon, but it’s really just the conscious focus on it that is new. Many traditional homes boasted a number of sustainable features.
Among these are the wide, shady verandas that were once so common in countries in the southern hemisphere that have hotter climates. Traditional Queenslander homes are a great example of this. However, over time people began to demand more interior space. Veranda’s became enclosed or ceased to exist at all. Flow-through breezes were blocked, and the heat protection offered by the covered verandas was lost. Hot sun striking the unshaded walls would heat the homes quickly, resulting in homeowners relying on air-conditioners to keep their homes cool in summer.
Fortunately, many homeowners 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, giving them the space they need with the benefit of shading their homes from the high summer sun.
Accomplished sustainable architects understand that there is a lot that goes into a successful sustainable home design. At dion seminara architecture we take the following into account when designing a sustainable home to minimise negative environmental impacts, whilst ensuring the highest levels of comfort and standard of living for our clients: –
A dion seminara architecture sustainable home design is a more liveable, healthier home, custom designed to reduce consumption and lower running costs. Our designs create less negative impact on the environment whilst creating a positive impact on your lifestyle. If you want a design that is integrated with the surrounding landscape and preserves the local habitat, you need a dion seminara architecture sustainable home 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 showerhead 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. 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.
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. Don’t forget about swimming pool pumps and heaters, these also use a lot of energy. You can also cut down on energy usage by installing low-energy globes for all your lighting.