Our increased awareness of environmentally friendly design combined with government laws and restrictions has led to our homes becoming more and more energy efficient. So how can you design your home so that it's more energy efficient?
Location and orientation
Something as simple as where your home is located and what direction it faces can have a substantial impact on how energy efficient it is. Orient your house so that it receives as much natural sunlight as possible, and set it back from nearby large structures that may block out light.
Insulating your home
Good insulation not only reduces power bills, but it's better for the environment as well. When building or renovating, consider opting for double glazing on windows, and consider window placement and size to maximise sun penetration but minimise glare. Choosing a pale-coloured roof in hot environments can help to keep a home cool, while the use of eaves and other shade-creation devices can help keep out the heat in summer.
Redesigning your backyard
The design of your backyard can affect the amount of heat that enters your home. The use of shrubs and trees to create shaded areas helps to cool air around the home, and the use of hardy native plants can reduce your garden's water requirements.
Energy-efficient appliances and fittings
Using water-efficient showerheads and tap fittings can reduce your water requirements, while using approved lighting sources can also help to reduce your power consumption. The use of energy-efficient fridges, washing machines, and dryers can also help to cut back on the environmental footprint of your home, as can fitting appliances with timers. Recycled water can also be incorporated into your home to reduce your overall water usage; water tanks can help reduce your household's reliance on dams.
There are a myriad of ways that you can improve the energy efficiency of your home. Even taking small steps can result in large reductions of energy or water consumption, so don't be afraid to do your bit for the environment.