I want a ‘green’ Architect!

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A few years back I was one of a few architects that had been selected by a potential client for a new house in the Dandenong hills.

After an exhaustive selection process he contacted me to say they had decided to go with a ‘green’ architect! I wished him all the best with their project.

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After I put down the phone I was annoyed that there were architects that were marketing themselves (successfully) as specifically ‘environmentally focused’. What a scam!

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I am sure most good architects have sustainability and thermal performance as an important part of their design process (it’s part of our education and DNA). (*The Building Code requires a 6 star energy rating for new houses)

And if you’re reading this and you’re not an architect let me help you with a few fundamentals (for temperate climates) to ensure your house is ‘green’:

Size (focus on what is needed – NOT what you want; refined, efficient & adaptable spaces)
Orientation/Zoning (active areas north facing; passive south)
• Smart glazing selection (thermal performance & natural light)
• Smart glazing protection (summer/west sun)
• High-performance insulation + thermal mass
Air-Quality (cross-ventilation; purging; draught protection; ceiling fans)
Energy initiatives (solar panels; appliance selection; LED/smart lighting; heating/energy source)
• Smart water initiatives (storage; fixtures; recycle)
• Smart plantings (drought tolerant; rain-gardens; edible; indigenous; deciduous)

Being aware of where materials come from is important too.

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It might be hard to balance up your love of Italian travertine or French zinc (hey I love them/use them both too) but recognise how much energy it has taken to get them here.

Buy Australian (if you can) and try and re-use demolished items (how good are the ‘old reds’!).

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By all means call me to chat about your project – and rest assured it WILL be ‘green’ (even if it doesn’t look like it)!

Butterfly Townhouses