MWa Sustainable Architect: MWa are now a qualified SustainAbility Design Specialist, having completed a recent masterclass with Australian Living and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
In a global context, sustainability development goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
A sustainable architect and sustainable architecture seeks to minimise the negative environmental impact of buildings through conscious passive design, energy efficiency, choice of materials to minimise embodied energy and ongoing energy consumption, conservation of water and minimising waste.
To put the impact of architectural residential design into an Australian context:
- 79% of NSW energy supply in 2016 was from coal (14% from renewable, 7% gas)
- residential electricity use is responsible for 44% of all building emissions
- the largest two uses of residential energy are space heating for air conditioning 40%, appliances 25% and water heating 23%.
- a CSIRO 2014 report found that 5 star energy efficient homes cost less to run and build than compared with 3.5 to 4 star homes (The Evaluation of the 5-Star Energy Efficiency Standard for Residential Buildings_.
What does sustainability mean in terms of architectural residential design and MWa’s work as a sustainable architect?
Sustainable residential architecture is about creating your best home: healthy, efficient, comfortable and connected to community.
So while the overall objectives of sustainability are global, the benefits are local and as personal as the comfort of your own home and hip pocket.
And there’s plenty of effective measures you can take to really make a difference.
So, what to consider when renovating your property?
The following are 10 liveability house actions which will reduce the running costs of your home and increase comfort:
1 exploit the orientation of your property
2 create zones within your home
3 create lots of cross ventilation
4 choose the right building materials
5 use insulation (but allow some air flow to avoid mould)
6 optimize window glazing for solar heat gain in winter
7 use shading to glazing to prevent heat gain in summer
8 pick efficient devices (star ratings) including energy and water conservation appliances, heating and cooling devices, hot water, lighting
9 install a PV solar system (and you can even to do this without any upfront cost)
10 install a rainwater tank
Contact MWa to find out more about how we can help guide your renovation or new build.
Other useful references: