The most sustainable building is one that is enjoyable,¬†functional, flexible, spatially efficient and well built, it’s about more than rainwater tanks and insulation. A building needs to be functional and flexible enough to accommodate the potentially changing requirements of it’s inhabitants over many years. It also needs to be enjoyable, a building can only be sustainable if you actually want to spend time in it. At this point it becomes even more important that it is as thermally comfortable as possible, using as little mechanical heating and cooling as possible, because a well designed and constructed building will be around for much longer in its current state and needs to have the lowest energy and water requirements possible.

Over the lifespan of a building, the energy required to heat and cool it is usually much higher than the embodied energy that goes into making the materials and components it is made of. However, as buildings become more thermally efficient, the embodied energy becomes more significant.

Of course, there are considerations that need to be taken into account with regard to initial cost, which is why we always look to the most basic and cost effective principles first:

  • correct orientation
  • spatial efficiency
  • strategic use of glazing and openings
  • insulation and draught sealing

We are of course more than happy to explore additional sustainability measures and have experience integrating various design and technical solutions into our projects.