Size – yes it counts!
One of the overarching principles of sustainability is a light touch to the earth. Here in Perth, the market finds it a challenge to reduce the oversized homes or mansions that proliferate the suburbs, claiming aesthetics is the driver.
All the monetary effort with luxury fixtures etc does not diminish the material and energy demands to build a big home. We need to consider not just the energy consumed by the occupants but the cost of material processing and transportation. For cost effective and sustainable construction, think of the investment of every square metre to your house design.
Look for the right builder!
You need to find a builder who is a change agent!
Housing construction operates in an industry that we all know is wasteful, produces lots of carbon with accepted practices that are increasingly being criticised as unsustainable. There are a few builders now stepping away from the mainstream practices of the standard formula double brick cavity home and looking to incorporate into the design, practices that conserve energy and water resources.
Be in tune with the climate
There is a litany of design mistakes that hark back to overseas influence and lack of respect for our environment. We live in a hot climate and in Perth generally is blessed by cooling sea breezes in summer. We need designs that minimise the summer sun intruding into the house but takes advantage of that free energy provided by the winter sun to warm up the interior. This will go a long way to making a more comfortable indoor environment and reduce your heating and cooling costs. Good orientation and positioning of your home will facilitate the breezes to cross ventilate through the windows and doors, minimising the need for air conditioning. Open up the house and let that fresh air flow circulate through. You will be much healthier for it!