Even though sustainable design can be traced back to the energy crisis of the 1970's, it wasn’t until the 90's that is began to take hold, especially in the residential sector.
Now it’s no longer seen as ‘a hippie alternative’, but an essential consideration that’s very much part of the mainstream.
There’s been a huge shift in attitude around sustainable design in the previous two decades, but what has caused this change in public perception? We asked Darren Evans from Solar Solutions Design, who has previously designed a number of beautiful homes with Hebel, on why he believes more homeowners are choosing to build sustainably.
Know your stuff
Darren believes the average punter has “a better understanding of what’s good, and what’s not and what direction they should be going as far as energy efficiency goes.” This is due to knowledge being available on the internet. Homeowners are easily able to jump on their phones, tablets or computers and do a bit of research before meeting with their architect or designer, giving them a better idea of what they want.
“More people are doing their research when it comes to their building options as they want the best possible outcome. When they come across possibilities they’ve never considered before, like Hebel for example, they’re arming themselves with the necessary knowledge to then go to their builder and properly talk through all the options.”
Darren has also noticed clients buying their second or third home with him have become savvier – they have a better understanding of sustainable practices and have a higher expectation on quality and value.
You’ll save money
One of the biggest pulls towards sustainable building is cost effectiveness. Darren says that the promise of saving a lot of money in the long run appeals to many of his clients. This could mean taking advantage of a block position for solar and ventilation purposes, designing in a way to draw/avoid thermal energy and the choice of building material.
Australia has extremes in weather and staying comfortable is a priority for many homeowners. However, in light of ever-increasing energy costs, people are trying to find greener alternatives to cranking the air conditioning.
There’s plenty of incentive
“In a lot of ways, governments have introduced new incentives to get sustainable building off the ground and educate the general public in being more efficient,” Darren Evans said.
One of the ways governments have supported sustainability is the implementation of efficient performance requirements for new homes. People who are building are now more aware of how efficient their homes are and how they can make them more so when meeting the necessary ratings.
More to work with
The rise of sustainable design has seen an increased focus on building materials used. Products like Hebel have risen in popularity, because of its energy efficiency compared to other products on the market.
Homeowners now have access to a much wider range of materials than ‘the tradition’, allowing them options when exploring sustainable design.
“I always strive to make sure their making the most of their space so that they can afford to get better insulation, better building materials, like Hebel, and end up with a high-quality home within their budget.”
Sustainability has become more popular with homeowners because it makes sense - it’s a great approach to building design as it enables houses to work better in their environment, use less energy and be more comfortable.