While sustainable homes do tend to be somewhat minimalist, this is not always the case. In fact, it’s actually possible to add some luxury to homes that present a low carbon footprint to the world, keeping them “green” and eco-friendly.
A high performance, energy efficient home may include features like geothermal heating, wind power and solar panels, but these are not the defining features of green living. They come in second, and some you can even do without. A green home starts with being well designed, well insulated, and well positioned to rely as much as possible on passive heating and cooling.
As an interior designer, it is your job to enhance as many of these features as possible, to maximize their usefulness for minimizing the home’s footprint and increasing its sustainability for your clients.
For example, an efficient and resilient home is one that uses minimal energy to heat, light and run appliances. The biggest factor is heating, so reducing heat requirements is the best way to reduce our personal emission of greenhouse gases.
A house with 60% of its windows facing south (passive solar) may have its heating requirements reduced by as much as 25% for virtually no cost. It is important that it be properly designed to avoid overheating though, or you will negate any heat savings with air conditioning in the summer.
Place Windows and Stone Exteriors for Southern Exposure
A solar-exposure study was performed before situating this single-story dwelling: In winter, the sun warms heat-retaining exposed stone and concrete portions of the home; in summer, when the exposure angle changes, a deep overhanging roof acts as a shield. (ArchitecturalDigest.com)
Solar Panels and Windows for Increased Efficiency
The addition of solar panels will also go a long way toward boosting efficiency and reducing the need for electricity that is produced with fossil fuels. Thanks to incredible efficiency and ample solar panels, ZEB Pilot House is said to generate almost three times the amount of electricity it requires. (NewAtlas.com)
Yes, Size Matters
A smaller house is a more efficient house. A smaller house means less land to excavate, less materials to manufacture and ship, less space to heat, less space to cool, less taxes to pay, less to clean. And they are always cheaper to buy or build.
Said to be the first certified Passive House in New York City, Tighthouse represents an impressive energy-efficient renovation of an existing row house that's over a hundred years old. (NewAtlas.com)
San Francisco's Fougeron Architecture recently designed and built a particularly beautiful luxury house that's guaranteed to make the neighbors see green. Located on California's Big Sur coastline, the Fall House sports a copper facade that will weather and patina over time, as it comes into contact with the sea air. The copper is also designed to offer a degree of fire-protection. (NewAtlas.com)
From Millennials to Baby Boomers, sustainable housing is becoming more important than ever before. Learning the principles and practices involved can only be a bonus to a cutting edge interior designer.
Looking for more interior design marketing tips? Get in touch with TD Fall today.