Kookas (Award winning home)
Our Approach To DesigNing Home Alterations & Additions
Nvisage is passionate about helping homeowners with home alterations and additions, convert their existing homes to a more sustainable, practical and energy efficient place to live. We design unique, stylish and functional homes on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
As designers, we bring your dreams to life, whether that dream is adding a top floor to your house, tearing down a wall you’ve never liked, or remodelling your kitchen. Our designs are practical and creative and executed with a thorough understanding of your functional and sustainable needs and goals in mind. We want our valued clients to live in a house they love.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are thinking about altering or adding to your home. We welcome your inquiry and look forward to the opportunity to create your new home.
Sustainable Home Renovations: Nvisage Is With You Through The Entire Process
When you decide to embark on sustainable home renovations, the logistics can seem daunting. We understand this, which is why Nvisage is with you all the way, from conception, design, submitting plans to council, to the building stage and beyond.
You know that a house designer sets the scene for your renovation, but what does that entail? While we have a number of responsibilities throughout the duration of a project, but before we can start designing we work with our clients to understand their needs and wants within a budget.
The Development Application Stage is about assessing your needs. We take the time to learn about your lifestyle and preferences, which we use to create the first concept design. Following the concept design, we draft plans and 3D renders for Council. Finally, we coordinate compilation of all documentation required for Development Application (DA).
Once DA approval has been obtained, the Construction Certificate (CC) Stages begin. This is when any changes required by Council are implemented and the construction specifications are drawn. We help you to select a builder if necessary, and monitor the construction process if you wish.
You can read more about these application processes here.
What’s Involved With The Construction Of Sustainable Home Extensions?
There are a number of key factors to keep in mind when you decide to make sustainable home extensions to your property. Some of the most important factors to take into consideration in order for homes to be built sustainably are:
• Water management
• The use of solar energy
• Natural light and ventilation (passive solar design)
• The use of low carbon footprint materials & resources
Our goal is to reduce our clients’ carbon footprint when designing their home alterations and/or additions. Whether we are adding a swimming pool, garage, or a top floor addition, Nvisage uses functional and creative designs to maximize energy efficiency.
How can you lower your carbon footprint through sustainable house designs?
There are many different ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Some of these require changes to the structure of the house, such as insulating your walls for better heat retention or installing sunlights in the roof. Other improvements may involve less construction work, such as changing your windows over to double-glazed windows. Nvisage goes beyond just the functional design and construction of your home and can help you in choosing energy efficient appliances, ethically and sustainably made furniture, energy efficient lighting, all of which makes up for about 11 per cent of a typical home’s energy consumption.
Water management is of most important, when designing a sustainable home, particularly in Australia where water is a precious non-renewable resource. A rainwater collection system is an excellent way of utilizing water for non-potable needs, such as gardening. Drought tolerant landscaping is a must, as is responsible water use with the installation of water efficient shower heads, toilets and water fixtures (three or four WELS star-rated). As part of our process, Nvisage works with clients to develop a sustainable water management system for their homes.
Another thing we emphasize is taking advantage of solar energy. Solar panels are an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy costs. Solar panels are an excellent complement to a passive solar design system, the heart of all of Nvisage’s new home designs.
Passive solar design takes advantage of natural heating and cooling methods to maintain comfortable temperatures all year round. This type of design is a hallmark of sustainable renovation. By properly orientating the house to take advantage of winds, sun, and shade, the need for active heating and cooling is reduced. Carefully assessing your site for maximum passive solar design is an integral part of our process. Houses that need less active heating and cooling provide greater comfort, and cost far less money to run year on year.
Keep in mind that even the most eco-friendly home in the world still requires its owner to make the most of passive solar design. Simple actions like closing blinds during hotter hours or opening windows to let breeze in will help maximise your house’s environmental performance.
Moving Towards Sustainable Home Alterations & Additions in Australia
There are many reasons why more and more homeowners are opting for a more sustainable approach when renovating their home. For some, reducing greenhouse gases and environmental benefits are the main cause. Others want to rely less on using their air conditioner or heater throughout the year, to greatly reduce their energy bills. Whatever the reason, there are a myriad of benefits that come with creating energy efficient homes.
It goes without saying that homeowners point to long-term savings as one of the most important advantages of going green. Solar panels, for example, offset about 80 to 90 per cent of a home’s energy cost, and the price of this type of sustainable technology (a pain point in years past) has dropped dramatically. In the past, it took eight or nine years to start seeing cost benefits, but with current prices, you will start to see a positive return on your investment after only three to four years.
Additionally, new research suggests that energy efficient homes have a higher resale value, selling 10 per cent higher and 13 days faster than traditional homes. Homeowners in Australia are learning the lesson: not only will sustainable home alterations and additions make your home more cost-effective to run in the medium to long term, they will also greatly improve the value of your home if you decide ever to sell.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are thinking about renovating your home, we welcome your inquiry and look forward to the opportunity to create your dream home.