Energy-Efficient Design For Your Home

modern living room

There are so many considerations when planning a house. Designing is the first and most important step when building a house or any infrastructure. The design is not simply for aesthetics. So many considerations are at play when coming up with a house design.   Here are some of them:

1. Preference

The first thing to consider when you plan to build a house is your preference. What kind of house do you like? Usually, this is all about the style. Are you more for modern or traditional themes? Do you have a reference you want to copy? There are so many questions you have to ask yourself at this stage of planning.

2. Functionality

Then, once you have a particular style in mind, what goes after the aesthetics is the actual function of the spaces in the house. Which rooms will be side by side? How big is the kitchen going to be? Will you be cooking a lot or hosting big barbecue dinners in the backyard?

Asking these questions is key to finding out what the layout is going to be like. You will also have to deal with the specifics. Decide if you need a big oven in the kitchen or where in the house the chilled water storage tanks are going to be.

Of course, the main design of the house will be based on what activities you will do in certain spaces. If you have a baby, then the nursery will be close to the master’s bedroom. If family time is important to you, then the living room will have to be big and spacious.

3. Sustainability and efficiency

This is what most people don’t usually pay attention to. Once the design and layout are decided on, they don’t spend time researching which materials will be the most durable and hence, cost-effective.

Your contractor and engineers will be the ones to handle this. But you also need to know what certain features of the house can be improved. If energy-saving is important to you for saving reasons or as a move towards sustainable living, you should definitely do your research.

house with a spacious lawn

Features of an energy-efficient home


1. Makes use of the environment

In the planning stage, it is important to incorporate the natural conditions of the place in your house design. For example, take note of where the sun rises. You could believe in Feng Shui and other lucky superstitions. But, this one is actually for the sake of enjoying the benefits of the sun.

There are plenty of insulation and ventilation problems that could have been avoided if the natural elements were considered in the planning stage. One could be determining the best orientation for the house.

For example, your place sits right above the equator. Then, the largest windows must be put on the northern side of the home. Why? This side will get the most sunlight. You will need that, especially in winter.

In summer, the best way to avoid too much heat getting into the house is to maximize shade. Put awnings over the windows under direct sunlight during summertime. This will help you reduce the heat gain your house receives.

The local climate and site condition will also dictate other energy-efficient strategies to be used on the house.  This is the idea behind passive solar home designs. You will realize that contrary to popular belief, designing is more than just drawing. They actually consider things like conduction, convection, and radiation in deciding what materials to use and where to put them.

2. Makes use of technology

One application of technology in house building is with appliances that reduce energy consumption like smart thermostats. You can also explore the use of heat pumps for a more efficient heating system than furnaces.

There is another way technology helps with energy-saving. You can invest in renewable energy systems such as solar electricity. You can study the most efficient way you can use water in the house.

You can also explore the latest technology used in making materials for construction. The use of efficient insulation with windows and flooring falls under this. Did you know that you should use foam insulation under the slab foundation in the basement? Now you do.

There are also ways technology helps in reducing the waste produced during the construction phase. Basically, in every part of house planning, technology is involved.

It might cost more during the planning stage to invest in an energy-efficient house design. However, all the effort and the money will be worth it down the road. You will save more in the long run, and at the same time, you get to help the environment.

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