PK (Award winning home)
Ryder (Award winning home)
Our Approach To Sustainable New Home Designs Sydney
Nvisage delivers expert innovative and practical solutions in sustainable new home designs within Sydney. We believe that style and sustainability need not be mutually exclusive. Nvisage have been designing custom homes since 2004 for our valued clients with sustainability always at the forefront of the design process. We pride ourselves on concepting and executing new home designs that are fresh, functional, and inspirationally sustainable. It is this design philosophy that has lead Trina to win multiple BDA design awards.
The Need For Sustainable Home Design in Australia
Australia urgently needs better, smarter ways to build housing. With climate change, water and other material resource scarcity, water pollution and the dry harsh Australian climate in general Eco-friendly construction has now become enforced across Australia by strict building regulations.
An ideal house is, among other things, one, which emits a low level of greenhouse gases, is comfortable to live in and doesn’t break the bank in heating and cooling costs as well as water rates. For the minority of people who have not yet embraced the basic principles of sustainability when building or renovating a house, too bad! The federal and state governments have done it for you, legislating (to varying degrees) that houses and multi-unit dwellings must meet decent environmental standards.
The National Construction Code (or Building Code of Australia prior to 2011) sets out 50 pages of eco-friendly standards for single and attached dwellings. These cover energy efficiency, building fabric and sealing, insulation, and services such as hot water and glazing.
There are different rules for different climates and regions, right down to the colour of the roof and the allowable light fittings.
The National Construction Code sets out that new houses must be assessed to meet a six-star thermal efficiency rating under a Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) accredited software program, the deemed-to-satisfy provisions in the code or by means of alternative solutions that can be demonstrated to meet the performance criteria.
In 2005, NSW substituted the national code with its own package of rules for new houses and units known as BASIX, the Building Sustainability Index. It mandated a 40-per-cent reduction in both water usage and greenhouse-gas emissions in homes compared to a pre-BASIX home.
Key Components To Consider In Sustainable Home Design
In order to create a comfortable home with low impact on the environment Nvisage considers the following criteria;
Passive Design is about designing homes to take advantage of natural heating and cooling to increase comfort and use less energy. The seven core components of passive design are orientation, spatial zoning, thermal mass, ventilation, insulation, shading and glazing.
The orientation of your new house is one of the most important factors to consider, because proper house orientation will allow the sun in when it is cold and keep it out in the hotter summer months. Thus your home will stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, which has the positive effect of greatly reducing your heating and cooling energy bills. Solar energy is easiest to manage on a home’s north side, meaning you can passively heat high-use living areas by facing them north.
Windows are another important consideration, as a substantial amount of winter heat is lost through windows. Double-glazed window can prevent heat loss, as can making sure that total window area is less than 25 per cent of the total floor area.
Careful analysis and selection of materials and the way they are combined can yield significant improvements in the comfort and cost effectiveness of your home, and greatly reduce its life cycle environmental impact.
When designing new homes Nvisage seeks to design spaces that require reduced power consumption and use renewable energy systems wherever possible. All aspects of the home are assessed, such as the heating and cooling of the house, hot water service, lighting, appliances, home entertainment and office equipment, home automation, renewable energy photovoltaic systems and heat pumps.
Australia is the driest populated continent on earth and can yield only a limited amount of freshwater. The average annual rainfall in Australia of around 470mm a year is well below the global average. Despite this, Australians are the greatest per capita consumers of water, using an average of 100,000L of freshwater per person each year.
Water management is an integral consideration of sustainable house design . Water management strategies range from the more simplistic solutions, like buying low-flow showerheads, to more advanced, like devising grey water recycling systems - redirecting water from bathtubs, sinks and showers to be used to flush toilets or water gardens.
Housing of the future will be judged by very different standards to the housing of today. As a starting point, it will need to respect ecological limits and suit significantly changed demographic patterns and lifestyles. These principles are embedded in the concept of ‘positive development’ — development that has a net positive ecological and social impact. Many of the homes we build today will still be in use in 50 or even 100 years’ time when climate change, population growth and resource depletion will have created a very different environment. Housing of the future will be flexible, adaptable and resilient, helping us to respond to both predicted and unexpected change. As resources will be scarcer and most likely more expensive, housing will need to be capable of meeting its own energy and water needs, producing food and recovering precious nutrients and materials from waste streams. It will be space-efficient in response to ecological limits and the increasing number of single person households.
House size, insulation, lighting, and use of sustainable materials and energy efficient appliances each play their part in making a home sustainable long term.
Nvisage carefully considers each of these elements to create living spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing, functional and most importantly comfortable to live in. We discuss all these elements at length with our clients as part of our design and project development process.
If you are thinking about building a new home and are seeking a sustainable new home designer in Sydney we welcome your inquiry and look forward to the opportunity to create your new home with you.