SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTS MELBOURNE
Sustainable Architects Melbourne
We are innovative sustainable architects based in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Our unique green designs are contemporary and eco-friendly.
Our holistic and environmentally sustainable approach is a conscious effort to build living spaces that work with the environment and limit resources.
What Is Sustainable Architecture?
Sustainable architecture is sometimes referred to as green architecture or eco- friendly architecture.
Wikipedia says “Sustainable architecture uses a conscious approach to energy and ecological conservation in the design of the built environment. The idea of sustainability or ecological design, is to ensure that our use of presently available resources does not end up having detrimental effects to our collective well-being or making it impossible to obtain resources for other applications in the long run.”
The Top 6 Sustainable Architecture Strategies
- Passive Solar Design
The term passive is key here, and the objective is to create sustainable homes that heat and cool passively. A lot of things comes down to window placements and sun shading to ensure we use the sun to warm the home in winter, and we prevent the sun from penetrating the home in the summer months. It’s also important windows are placed to allow for cross-ventilation, to allow cooling summer breezes to pass through the home and passively cooling.
- Active Sustainable Design
Active Sustainable Design strategies can often be seen as the bells and whistles to a sustainable home. Often encompassing solar panels and battery storage systems, it’s also important to understand the heating and cooling elements of a home. Focusing on Melbourne’s climate the energy use from heating a home far outweighs the load required for cooling. Therefore it’s important to use energy efficient heating systems such as electric Heat pumps that is an incredibly energy-efficient heating source.
- Renewable Energy Systems
With a considered approach to energy efficient appliances, heating and cooling, accompanied with a renewable energy system such as solar panels, your home home energy bills decrease drastically or can even disappear all together. This along with good solar passive design equates to a carbon neutral home.
- Green Building Materials & Finishes
Material selection and selection of finishes are critical to sustainable architecture. Materials should be considered on their eco-friendly credentials and also their longevity and low maintenance costs. Recycled timbers and materials are always a joy to work with and can offer something really special and unique to a sustainable home.
- Stormwater Management
There’s a number of reasons to place an emphasis on sustainability and stormwater management. To design a truly sustainable and self-sufficient home it’s important that stormwater is captured on site and used in your garden and toilets. Watertanks have become a staple of sustainable architecture and can add utility and a pleasing aesthetic to a sustainable home.
- Native Landscaping
Native landscaping can often be overlooked, but it’s important that we merge your outdoor spaces with the sustainable architecture of your interior. Native plants can add a lot to a home by way of native birds. We love to used deciduous trees grown over timber pergolas to protect north facing windows in summer, while in winter when they lose their leaves allowing the beautiful, soft winter sun inside. This is solar passive design at its best.
Elements Of Sustainable Architecture
- Solar passive design
- Building Orientation – Living to the north
- Window location and sizing
- Window shading
- Night purge of hot air
- Low maintenance materials
- Thermal mass to absorb heat from the sun
- Landscaping with native vegetation.
- Recycled/Upcycled Materials
Examples Of Sustainable Architecture Projects
Project 1 – Clifton Hill House
This beautiful home incorporates many elements of sustainable architecture including reverse brick veneer walls to assist with thermal mass and help keep the home at a moderate temperature.
The image shows the large eave to the north facing aspect of the home designed to protect the home from the harsh summer sun, accompanied with thermal mass internally to absorb the heat that penetrates the home. These homes stay at a moderate temperature all year round.
We incorporated the following strategies;
- Reverse brick veneer construction for thermal mass properties
- 140mm walls for additional insulation than typical
- Large eaves to north elevation
- Cross-ventilation, north/south
- North facing central courtyard
Project 2 – Sutherland St, Brunswick
The image below shows how we implemented sustainable architecture for this renovation. The use of window shading to filter the harsh summer sun while allowing the more gentle winter sun to passively heat the home.
We incorporated the following strategies;
- Small increase to existing footprint
- Upgraded all windows to double glazed units
- West and north facing windows shaded from summer sun
- Sealing of existing chimney to prevent heat loss
- Window locations to allow for cross-ventilation for passive cooling
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