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Sustainability and Interior Design

The term ‘sustainability’ in building construction covers many different areas. It includes the use of recycled materials, or natural materials such as plantation timber, mudbrick or rammed earth. It also extends to building with materials that have minimal embodied energy, or creating a building that has a zero carbon footprint.

The key to a successful result is in the use of passive solar design.

Using passive solar design, a house layout is designed so that all rooms have good northerly solar access, with winter sun penetrating deeply and summer sun almost entirely shaded.

The next most important components in the design are thermal mass and insulation.

These two elements work together to maintain an internal temperature that remains almost entirely within the comfort range, with window type and placement critical to achieving good cross-flow ventilation.

The real ‘secret’ to success is allowing the passive solar design to dictate the style and placement of the furnishings in each room.

Rather than fighting against nature, furniture is positioned so that it works with the season, the angle and direction of the sun, as well as the intended functions of the room. By aligning the passive solar elements with the interior design elements, a year-round harmony of form and function can be achieved.

Being environmentally conscious, we challenge plans to see where cost-effective sustainable items can be integrated into your design. Undertaken at the plans stage, often these do not cost anything to introduce, but save you money in the long term.

Contact us to find out how we can help you incorporate sustainable components into your design.