How to Bring Natural Elements into Your New Home Design

Have you got the opportunity to create that dream home you’ve always desired? Nowadays, it’s considered pretty smart thinking to incorporate eco-friendly and natural elements. Why? For one, natural elements obviously look good. Also, bringing natural elements into a home design can be more efficient and effective in the long run, both for you and the environment. There are many architectural design tactics and strategies to consider.

The incorporation of eco-friendly principles and sustainable living starts from day one in a new home. Aim to incorporate features that will last as long as possible, if not a lifetime! That means from your very first wish list to formal planning, design, and actual construction. Every stage of the design can impact on multiple layers and levels of living.

Here are some ways to start thinking about bringing natural elements into the design of a new home. They can apply whether you weave them into your dream of a tiny home with a small footprint, or a larger family home in a lifestyle block.

Attention to Detail and the Big Picture

First of all, it’s all about both attention to detail and big-picture thinking that come into play when you’re incorporating natural elements and taking an eco-friendly stance in the design of a new home. You’re thinking about particular ways to keep your own home and living conditions in-tune with nature, most likely for many, many years. You’ll also be looking at sustainable ways to support existing natural resources for the long-term.

Design Passively

Passive architectural design is ingenious and multi-layered. The use of passive principles in the design of buildings considers how a home will be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to live in. Passive design is also about how a home can be the most functional and energy efficient.

Designing passively includes things like being mindful about the orientation and layout of a home, the materials used in the construction, and any design features that can ultimately impact on energy consumption. Ways to utilize passive design to harness the benefits of the natural beauty and energy of the environment and climate you live in include:

Orientation

How you site or position your home on a building site in relation to the sun’s position throughout the day can make an immense difference to both the natural light and temperature within your home. Similarly, any natural features such as nearby hills, mountains, and existing vegetation can provide helpful shade and cooling features in hotter climates and warmer summer months.

Layout

Within your home, think about your lifestyle and which rooms you use for what and when. Think both in terms of temperature, and ways to maximize even further the beauty of the outdoor elements. Situating living areas to overlook the external landscape or garden feature are obvious choices for the view. You may want to think about how you move from room to room during the course of a day. Plan the location of rooms around the time of the day you use them to get the light and warmth of the sun, or be cool as and when needed. Wet areas such as bathrooms can also benefit from the added light and warmth of facing the sun, and even the direction of wind flow for ventilation.

Materials

Any materials used in the construction of a home, of course, need to be robust and fit for purpose. You want materials for both the exterior and interior construction that are going to withstand the weather and daily living. You may want to bring the outdoors in or help the exterior of your home blend in with your natural surroundings. Consider how you can incorporate as many sustainably sourced natural materials as possible such as wood, stone, and bamboo.

Design features:

When it comes to the structural design features in natural and eco-friendly homes, architectural designers have many skills and techniques to draw from. This may include a slope and pitch on your roof to catch rain and solar energy. The width of your outside eaves and verandas, can combine as outdoor living spaces, and provide shelter and protection from the sun and rain. The size and shapes of your rooms and windows should provide plenty of natural light and ventilation for a healthy and dry home.

Capture Natural Resources

The design and building of a new home is a fantastic opportunity to add to the ability to capture natural resources for energy efficiency. Passive design includes making the most of passive energy – especially solar power and water. These are natural resources that many people are reliant on external supplies for, often at considerable cost.

Solar

Grab that sun and solar energy that hits your roof every day via photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Home solar systems are a source of clean energy, and obviously a cheaper source of electricity than what you pay from external suppliers.

Water

Collect and harvest rainwater from your roof for both household use and/or garden irrigation. Consider systems to collect and recycle grey water, for example, from your laundry to then flush your toilet or water your garden.

The Finishing Touches

Last, but by no means least, are the finishing touches to the architectural design of your home. Matching your interior design with the overall architectural style adds the finishing touch. Consider furnishings and fixtures made from recycled and upcycled materials and natural fibers.

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