Green is the new black in modern home design

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Adding environmentally sustainable features can be one of the most rewarding aspects of planning your new home.

Ways to reduce housing impacts on the environment are increasingly edgy: green is the new black for innovative designers and architects.

Sustainable design involves meeting present needs without compromising the needs of future generations.

To reduce the carbon footprint of construction practices, architects and builders are applying age-old solutions to new design challenges, sourcing stone and other building materials locally if they abound.

Designers are incorporating green roofs and balconies for a mix of efficient, natural cooling and landscaped aesthetic beauty.

Others are drawing on geothermal heating and cooling home comfort solutions, harnessing below ground forces to provide optimal indoor conditions.

Eco-friendly houses are smart and sustainable. Even on a budget, wall touch screens control light, heat, irrigation and sound remotely and minimise energy waste.

Where to focus

Sustainable homes minimise water and energy use and reduce waste, saving money in the long term.

Waterwise: choose water-saving showers and taps, garden water tanks, and dual-flush toilets.

Energywise: passive solar features such as house orientation, ventilation, insulation and adequate shading keep homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter without artificial heating and cooling.

Wastewise: careful planning can limit waste during construction and reduce the need for expensive modifications as needs change.

Checklist initiatives

Homes incorporating one or more of the following show a commitment to reducing lifestyle impacts on the environment.

1. Solar rooftop panels: a lightweight, inexpensive way to boost a home’s ‘passive’ energy.

2. Energy star appliances: up to 40 per cent more efficient than standard appliances.

3. Water conserving appliances: low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets; high-efficiency water heaters and washing machines; and satellite-controlled sprinklers.

4. Dual pane, low-emittance windows: optimal insulation for heating and cooling efficiency while blocking potentially damaging UV rays.

5. Energy efficient air conditioning: 14-Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio systems for efficient home cooling.

6. Energy efficient lighting: LED and CFL lights, modern dimmer switches, and occupancy sensor light switches.

7. Certified wood: building materials from forests being actively renewed.

8. Blown-in cellulose wall insulation: more efficiently packing gaps, non-toxic and increasing fire resistance by 22 to 57 percent.

9.  Fresh air ventilation system: pumping fresh, filtered air in and venting out carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

10. Vegetable gardens and orchards: bringing ‘farm to table’ concepts right into the kitchen.

To build your sustainable home, consider land at developments such as Torhaven, Deebing Heights. With beautiful parklands and elevated lots to capture breezes and views, you’ll love living at Torhaven.