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Ways to create a more sustainable house design

Sustainable seems to be a buzzword lately. But what exactly does it mean when it comes to sustainable house design? Two key elements are undoubtedly energy efficiency and using more environmentally friendly materials.

But you don’t need to spend big – there are features you can incorporate into your home design without breaking the bank.
 
We can help take some of the mystery out of sustainable house design. In fact, most of the features below are standard in a Burbank home. With minimal upgrades, we can help you to create your ideal green home design.
 
Natural ventilation
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Using natural ventilation is not only a great choice for the environment, but it’s free! There are many ways to improve the natural ventilation of your home and reduce your reliance on air-conditioning, to make the most of the outside air and provide a fresh indoor climate.
 
Windows play a big role. You can orient them based on the climate and site, select window types to either direct or deflect airflow, and position openings for cross-ventilation to force warm air out and bring cooler air in.
 
We know that warm air rises, so it helps to encourage convective air movement where the warm air can escape through high-level windows or inlet and outlet vents.
 
You can also improve your home’s natural ventilation with ceiling fans to improve airflow even when the windows aren’t open.
 
Timber framing
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Timber framing is a natural product and a renewable resource, so it’s a more environmentally friendly option. Steel is more energy-intensive to produce and transport, which leads to a bigger carbon footprint.
 
Not only is timber a more environmentally friendly resource, but it is also a natural insulator and provides a slower rate of heat transfer than steel. This means it helps with energy efficiency and keeping bills down too!
 
Importantly, timber frames have long-lasting qualities and have proven to stand the test of time.
 
Energy efficient hot water systems
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High efficiency water heaters use 10-50 per cent less energy than standard models, which saves you money on utility bills. This will be dependent on a variety of factors including how many people are living in the home, the location of the water heater, and the size and placement of water pipes.
 
Features of an energy efficient house design includes a solar hot water system, which uses green solar power to heat the water and switches to a gas or electric booster when there isn’t enough sunshine. They can be more expensive initially, but are cost-effective to run.
 
Tankless water heaters are another energy-efficient option because they only heat water on demand, which means they don’t use energy keeping heated water in a tank. They’re also a good option to save on space!
 
Minimum 6 star NatHERS rating
Sustainable_Designs_Blog_Image_4.jpgNatHERS is the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme and uses a 10 star rating system to assess the thermal performance of homes. All Burbank homes have an energy rating of 6 stars.
 
The rating reflects the home’s ability to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature without relying too much on air conditioners or heaters. Not only does this help to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions – it means savings on utility bills.
 
And your home may perform even better than six stars with some of the energy efficient inclusions we’ve listed!

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