With the effects of climate change hard to ignore, when approaching a new architectural project, taking a sustainable approach seems like a no brainer. But where should you start?
Whether your dream home looks like a compact tiny home, or your aspirations are a little grander, there's a multitude of ways to incorporate sustainable and environmentally friendly practices into your project.
The pay off for building sustainably is far-reaching. From saving on your energy bills and lower mortgage rates, to a higher return when you go to sell in the future. Along with the health benefits for yourself and your family, the advantages of building sustainably are hard to deny.
However, the world of eco-friendly and sustainability is broad and extensive. From solar panels, LED lights, and low flow taps, to working with contractors and building partners who actively work to reduce their construction waste, incorporating eco principles into your next project may feel a little overwhelming.
Whether you plan to achieve a Homestar rated home, want to incorporate Passive House techniques, or simply want advice on the orientation of your home to optimise your energy performance, working with a professional who understands your aspirations and who has the skill and experience to achieve your eco home goals is always the first place to start.
While most architectural professionals are well versed in the fundamentals of designing an environmentally friendly home, if you’re looking for a designer with specialised experience, looking to the multitude of accreditations that aim to exceed the building code could help narrow down your search. Certifications such as HomeStar, The Superhome Movement, and Passive House, are some of the programs in New Zealand where architectural professionals are required to complete training and further education to become certified.
Professional members of Architectural Designers New Zealand are required to maintain a high level of continued professional development (CPD) throughout their membership. ADNZ’s CPD program has a strong focus on educating our members on sustainable design, and the environmental and social responsibility the building industry has in creating a better built environment.
We're committed to supporting a sustainable future for all New Zealanders through our ‘Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss Action Plan’ which reflects our ongoing focus on introducing and supporting positive initiatives and practices that encourage greater awareness of sustainability within our organisation, industry, and society.
While the initial investment required to design sustainably can be a little daunting, the accumulative savings throughout the lifetime of your home are well documented. From savings on your monthly energy bill, to reducing the reliance on heating and cooling systems, designing an eco-home has a huge pay off in many ways.
In a recent article published by Stuff , the spotlight was shone on the incredible Rata Street project designed by ADNZ Professional Member and Co-Founder of The Super Home Movement, Bob Burnett (jointly designed with Shizuka Yasui). A design centred around The Superhome Movements ethos and principles, Burnett’s clients enjoy among other benefits of living in an energy efficient home, $6 power bills during the summer months.
From sustainable energy loans, to lower interest rates and reimbursements for customers building a 6 Homestar rated home or higher, banks are also getting onboard and supporting customers who are incorporating green building principles into their homes.
However your sustainability journey looks, check out our helpful guide for ways you can incorporate eco principles into your next project, and head to Find A Designer to find an architectural professional who can help bring your eco home dreams to life.