Traditionally, building a luxury home was an environmentally taxing process that used a lot of materials and created a lot of waste. Couple that with energy inefficient design and you have yourself an end-result that’s rightly given some luxury home builders a bad environmental rap.
With the effects of climate change and the environmental impacts of homebuilding increasingly weighing on the minds of consumers, the demand for more sustainable luxury home builders has soared. Sustainability is now fast-becoming priority number one.
While it may seem like a given that new home designs these days should incorporate sustainability at their core, it’s disappointing that not all new home builders Perth has to offer are following best practices. At Stannard Homes, we think sustainable design should come standard. We always consider ways to incorporate more eco-friendly design practices in every home.
To us, building eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean living in some off-grid tiny home out in woop-woop. We believe that environmental credentials shouldn’t have to come at the expense of luxury. Quite the opposite – some of the most awarded and sustainable home designs Australia has seen in recent years are redefining luxury living.
Whether you’re looking for two storey home designs, or a single-storey home, we’re passionate about partnering with our clients to achieve the perfect balance of sustainability and luxury in their home. So let’s take a closer look at the sustainable design considerations we can help you incorporate into your next luxury home.
Design and natural environment
Utilising your location’s natural surroundings to its full potential is critical to reducing its impact on the environment. Harnessing the sun, water and wind (and considering your neighbouring lots) are all contextual aspects that should shape your design choices.
- Passive solar design – The orientation of your block (north-facing is generally better) and how your home layout utilises its available sunlight across the seasons will be a big determinant of your energy consumption. Smart decisions here will reduce your reliance on heating in winter and cooling in summer.
- Cross ventilation – Similarly, maximising the cross-ventilation of wind in your home design will keep it cool throughout the toasty Perth summers.
- Natural light – The more natural light there is in your home, the less you’ll need to rely on lighting during the day – so your layout should be optimised to make the most of available light. In dim areas like hallways, skylights are a handy design element that can help alleviate your reliance on powered lighting.
- House footprint – It’s pretty simple, really – the larger your home, the more materials it will require. Utilising multi-purpose spaces are key to making every square metre count.
This one’s obvious, but you can’t build a house without using materials. So naturally, the sustainability of the materials you choose matter when it comes to influencing its environmental footprint and impact.
- Reuse construction waste and recycled materials – Using reclaimed elements like old bricks, tiling and wood are a clever way to reduce your demand for new materials, while adding a natural look to your home.
- Low impact, high performance materials – Every new material you use comes with some kind of environmental cost. So choosing sustainably-sourced, recycled, or low carbon footprint materials will go a long way to determining the net impact your build has.
- Paints – Certain paints come with a fairly hefty environmental impact. Nowadays, many paint brands offer more eco-friendly options that contain less (or no) toxic materials and by-products.
- Insulation – The quality of the insulation you choose can lead to better temperature regulation, saving you big on energy costs. There are also a heap of new environmentally-friendly materials on the market too.
- Roofing – Colour and material matters when it comes to the part of your home that cops most of the brunt of the sun. That’s why implementing a ‘cool roof’ is hotting up in Australia. These absorb less sunlight than traditional roofing, lowering the temperature of your home and reliance on air-con.
- Windows – Believe it or not, windows can be responsible for up to 50% of energy lost in homes through heat and cooling. That’s why glazing choice, sizing and placement of your windows are critical.
Utilities and appliances
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to reduce your reliance on utilities (water and electricity) as much as possible. Having your home set up right from the start can have a big impact on your consumption of energy.
- Go electric over gas – Switching from gas powered appliances to electric (for example induction or electric cooktops and solar hot water heaters) can drastically reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
- Smart and low energy lighting – Using energy systems like smart lights that turn off when not in use can not only save emissions, but also save you big on your electricity bills.
- Energy efficient appliances – Choosing energy and water star efficient appliances (including your dishwasher, electronics, washer and dryer, and tapware) will not only make you less reliant on utilities, you’ll also get the added benefit of lower bills.
- Solar and battery – These combined systems are booming for good reason – they’re the smarter way to store and save on electricity (and power bills), not to mention keep the power on in case of blackouts.
- Water Tanks – Depending on your block size and its location, incorporating a rainwater tank can give you your own supply of water.
While there’s a lot to consider when planning for a more eco-friendly home, these are all considerations that we can walk you through in the home design process.
If you’re ready to build a more sustainable home, get in touch with our Perth home builders today.