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Sustainable Building Design

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE BUILDING DESIGN?

That’s a very good question, because sustainable building design means very different things to everybody. For some it means building using green materials, for others it means creating environments that are clean and healthy for their family, and in a truly utopian world, sustainable building design means using materials and processes that result in a carbon neutral or carbon positive building? Utopian sustainability is not really possible, unless you live in a cave and forage for food within walking distance?

Even the most sustainably responsible building will draw resources from the earth, but if everybody does as much as they can to improve their own environment, the planet may live a little longer?

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM YOUR PROJECT?

Do you want a standard home with a few green features?

Do you want a home that is healthy to live in and environmentally responsible to a degree?

Do you want a home that is green star accredited no matter what the cost?

“only you can make this decision, but we can guide you in the right direction”

Owen Batchelor is a “BEDI” endorsed “Sustainable Building Designer” which means he has completed training in the basic requirements for sustainability in housing through BEDI (built environment design institute) and therefore has the expertise to reduce the environmental impact of your project.

Owen Batchelor has completed an “Introduction to Green Star” through the GBCA (Green building council of Australia). This actually does not mean much in isolation, but is a positive step in his commitment to providing sustainable outcomes in our projects.

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING DESIGN – FOOD FOR THOUGHT?

Buildings that respond to the occupants are far more enjoyable to live in. Over-sized air conditioned boxes don’t respond terribly well in most cases, and consume additional resources to account for their deficiencies. Smaller buildings, correctly orientated, designed to facilitate life and spacial awareness can provide a much more enjoyable living environment, often with a smaller footprint.

1 in 3 homes in Australia have 1-2 occupants, so why are we designing and building 4 bedroom homes on every block of land? Why are we not looking at shared living homes, dual occupancies, or autonomous homes that cater for these 1 person households? Not all of these people want to live in apartments, but surely there is an emerging market to cater for these occupants.

resale, resale, resale……”BS”

I fear this misnomer has a lot to do with real-estate agent hype. With the ever-rising number of single person households, an ageing population, young people screaming about housing affordability, there has to be a solid business case for adaptable houses. IE: a home that starts off as a single mans quarters, adapts to suit a young couple, transitions to a family home, then back to a retiree couple or older Australians? Is this not the best definition of sustainable building design?

Sustainable materials to me are difficult to get my head around? there is no escaping the fact that trees store carbon for life, but the offset to storing carbon is the production of oxygen? The only sustainable use of timber is collecting dead timber off the ground. Sustainable harvesting of live timber (trees) relies on the world’s population not expanding, which it does at the rate of 1 billion people every decade or so? Where is that calculated in?

Sustainable use of resources from the ground also must surely have little basis either. how much stuff can we dig out of the ground before the earth starts to implode, and what is the environmental cost of smelting steel, aluminum and glass. The green tinge these materials get is from the infinite reuse-ability, however much of this material still finds its way to land fill, so what then?

Sustainability may be a utopian dream, but for most of us there can be immediate benefits to good design implementation. For me a home that responds well to its occupants, has a high degree of adaptability and re-purposing opportunity, and uses responsible materials is the key to success. These things should not unreasonably increase the cost of the home, and generally should enhance the livability of the home while providing a better sense of place to the occupants.

“if you are happy and comfortable in your home, you will stay there longer, which inevitably will save you a fortune in relocation costs, and could increase your lifespan with less stress”.

Please feel free to ring and discuss your project with our senior designer to see how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint and reap the benefits of these ideologies. CONTACT US`

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