Over the last 12 months, two factors impacting the liveability of Queensland homes have risen to greater prominence; the impact of climate change and the accessibility of sustainable energy sources. These two major concerns are influencing the latest emerging eco-trends in home renovations and new builds.
1. Climate resilient eco trends in housing
With the impacts of climate change evident in the droughts, bushfires, floods and soaring temperatures experienced in South-East Queensland in the last couple of years, it’s no wonder there is a sense of greater urgency and interest in making our sub-tropical homes more sustainable and climate resilient through design, materials and fittings. These are the key areas of focus for climate resilient housing:
- Passive design – orientation on the block to maximise northern exposure and minimise western exposure; orientation of windows, doors and rooms to maximise airflow; and wide eaves and trees for shade. Roofs are well insulated with vents or whirly-birds to help hot air escape.
- Seamless transition between indoor and outdoor rooms utilising the same materials and fittings
- Flood-proofing by moving habitable rooms to a higher level, utilising durable materials on lower levels, locating electrical services higher within the home, and allowing for water flow on lower levels
- Drought proofing with water tanks, drip irrigation systems, use of grey-water and water-efficient fixtures
- Lightweight, renewable, and durable building materials such as cross-laminated timber, natural stone, and concrete
- Non-toxic materials, including finishes with low volatile organic compounds (VOC) in carpets, flooring, and paints
- Windows are responsible for much of the solar gain in a house. The choice, size, and location of windows are crucial to capturing breezes and minimising heat in South-East Queensland. Trends to consider are double glazing, special glass coatings, louvres, eaves and exterior blinds and shutters to block the sun at particular times of day.
2. Trend towards sustainable energy sources
Get off the gas
Queensland’s casual approach to the adoption of domestic solar energy systems is set to change with rising gas costs across the world, a push for renewable energy sources, and the #getoffthegas movement. Where connecting gas was a popular economical choice for cooking and heating hot water systems five to ten years ago, electric induction cooktops and hot water systems are now the way of the future.
Powering everything in your home with electricity is going to be a much greater priority, and solar energy will become a more popular choice to reduce rising domestic power costs and make use of South-East Queensland’s abundant free energy source.
Factor in EV Charging
The slow transition to electric vehicles (EV) will surge in the next five years with the easing of supply chain issues that have impacted both manufacturing and shipping of vehicles and greater governmental support for the transition to EVs. Although many EV sales will also include the supply of EV chargers, garage design will need to accommodate the transition by:
- Hardwiring of EV chargers and upgrades to 3-phase power if not using solar
- Garage layout to accommodate multiple charging ports if in use at the same time
- Insulating garages or enclosing carports to manage temperature fluctuations that can impact EV batteries
- Adding carport or garage doors for the security of EV chargers
Jump on board the eco-trend train
With climate change and the move to renewable energy sources hastening the adoption of sustainable housing, you will be well rewarded if you follow the latest eco-trends. Sustainable houses are:
- Cost-effective with lower day-to-day operating costs
- Environmentally friendly
- Attractive with a higher level of living comfort
- Healthy and calming
Another great reason to jump on board the eco-trend train is homes with eco-friendly features are likely to sell for up to 17 per cent more than non-sustainable homes, according to data from Domain.
Rycon Constructions have great experience in creating sustainable home solutions. Get in touch to discuss your specific requirements today.
Get started on planning your renovation or new build with a complimentary meeting with RYCON Constructions to see how we can make your project successful. Through every step of the building process, we will guide you and collaborate with your architect or building designer, to ensure your vision is shared through clear and open communication. Whether you embark on a new build or a renovation, you are in safe hands with RYCON.
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