The Key Elements of a Sustainable House Design

The emerging trend of applying sustainable architecture to construction is becoming increasingly popular. Not only does it provide a solution to rising energy costs, but it also aligns with people's desire to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve the environment. That is why, today, multiple AEC firms have started introducing sustainable house design options as part of their services. These designs incorporate eco-friendly housing features that meet client needs and provide them with a safe and healthy home to thrive in. Let us discover more about sustainable architecture house designs and how AEC experts are building them.

What Is Sustainable Architecture?

The UN Brundtland Commission defines sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Sustainable architecture is a branch of sustainable development. It refers to the design of buildings that help create healthy living environments by minimising energy consumption and using human resources. This reflects in a building's materials, construction methods, and design.

Why Is Sustainable Architecture Becoming Increasingly Important?

As the population grows and development continues to increase, the environment sustains negative impacts like increased CO2 emissions, urban heat island effects, rainwater runoff, and increased pollution. But developing sustainable architecture helps limit the impact of development on the surrounding environment.

What Are Sustainable House Designs?

Sustainable homes aim to conserve natural resources and have minimal impact on the environment. There is no standard format or requirements for a sustainable house design. Instead, they often incorporate a variety of components that promote sustainability. The design of the home might maximise natural light and heat for energy reduction. Architects might also consider building materials and built-in features that promote sustainable practices when designing sustainable homes.

What Are the Key Components of Sustainable Architecture and Housing Design?

Several components work together to develop sustainable architecture. The features of a sustainable house design range from the types of building materials used in the home to various features that help conserve energy and water use.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient designs serve to promote sustainability when a home build is complete, too. Energy reduction features may come from building materials used in a home, the building's design, or specific features added to the home. Solar panels, appliances, lighting, and windows are some of the most common components of energy-efficient housing design.

Using Solar Panels

Solar panels convert the energy from the sun into power. As a result, they reduce a home's carbon footprint and cut energy bills. When you optimise the orientation of your home to take advantage of natural light, adding solar panels allows you to heat and light your home without the costs of electricity.

Using Energy-Efficient Appliances

The appliances in your home often last for years. You can lower your energy consumption and bills by purchasing options with high energy efficiency ratings. Seek high energy ratings on all your home's major appliances and electronics.

Switching to LED or CFL Lighting

Energy-efficient lighting can significantly reduce the amount of electricity your home uses each month. You can lower your home's overall energy consumption by choosing light bulbs with lower wattage and LED or CFL light fittings. These energy-efficient choices will use less energy without sacrificing the quality of light in your home.

Installing High-Performance Windows

Homes lose a significant amount of heat through poorly designed windows. New technologies used in windows improve insulation properties and keep hot or cold weather out. When designing a sustainable house, the climate is often considered to determine which window features will help save the most energy. For example, low solar gain windows are more likely to be used in warmer climates, while insulated frames and triple-glazed windows are used in colder climates.

Water Conservation

Limiting water waste is also a vital part of creating a sustainable house design. Water is not an unlimited resource. As the population grows, it's important to consider the amount of water that inefficient practices can waste. Some of the most common ways sustainable homes conserve water include low-flow fixtures and recycling through rainwater harvesting and grey-water systems.

Low-Flow Fixtures

Low flow describes the amount of pressure used to send water through household fixtures. When you invest in low-flow toilets, faucets, and spigots, you can control the amount of water you need to use without sending so much down the drain.

Harvesting Rainwater

While rainwater can't be used for all purposes, it's great for irrigation, watering plants, and flushing toilets. Once a rainwater harvesting system is installed, you can collect rainwater for no additional cost. As a result, you can decrease water use and save money on water bills.

Installing a Grey-Water System

A grey-water recycling system is designed for recycling lightly used water for reuse in certain tasks like flushing toilets and irrigation. These systems recycle wastewater from baths, showers, and laundry to limit water use.

Renewable Building Materials

The materials used to build a home impact the environment and the appearance of the home. Eco-friendly building materials have a positive impact by reducing toxins, reducing waste, and promoting energy efficiency.

Non-Toxic Materials to Use

Non-toxic building materials emit fewer volatile organic compounds and harmful toxins. Also, these materials are often naturally sourced. Some of the most commonly used non-toxic building materials include sustainably grown timber, natural stone, sealed straw bale, mud brick, and concrete.

Recycled Architectural Materials

Commercial construction often creates a significant amount of waste as contractors are unsure of the building materials that will go into the final product. When these materials are saved for use in home builds, the homeowner can save money on supplies and eliminate the environmental impact of sourcing new materials.

Reach Out to HP With Your Sustainable Architecture Needs

Sustainable house design starts with features incorporated into the design before the build even begins. A high-quality large format printer/plotter is an important tool used by AEC professionals to draft detailed blueprints, designs, and plans for sustainable homes. HP is recognised among the most sustainable companies in the world. Contact HP Virtual Booth to learn more about sustainable home design or to see our available printers.

Download our eBook now and discover how innovation is streamlining workflows, producing prints of unmatched quality and increasing IT efficiency like never before.

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