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12 Super Simple, Impactful Wins in Creating a Sustainable Home - Episode 2 (Season 8 - A SIMPLE GUIDE TO A SUSTAINABLE HOME)

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A simple guide to a sustainable home | Podcast Season 8 | Undercover Architect

Creating a sustainable home means one that is energy efficient, functional, low tox, environmentally friendly and supports your health and well-being. 
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Let’s dive into some super simple, impactful wins you can put into action in your project to create your Sustainable Home.

These are the types of tips that, if you know them upfront, you can create a design that incorporates them and have it not cost anymore.

Now, I have a few tips of my own, and I actually found a great list as well put together by the Department of Public Housing Queensland, called “Ten Tips for Smart and Sustainable Housing” which provides a great framework. So, this episode will be a combination of this information. And in future episodes, we’ll dive into some of these areas in much more detail as well.

These 12 tips can be a great guide for where to start when considering how to design a sustainable home. They are:

  1. Know how the sun moves and design your home to respond to it. Keep it cool in Summer with shading, and warm in Winter by letting the sun’s warmth inside.
  2. Lower your home’s energy use overall through the selections you make and how you design your home to maintain its comfortable indoor temperature.
  3. Conserve water in how you select your tapware and appliances, in where you source your water from, and what you do with your wastewater
  4. Heat and Cool naturally through how you manage the warmth of the sun, and maximising natural ventilation in your home
  5. Heat your water efficiently, in what hot water system and power supply you choose and in how you arrange your wet areas that need the hot water
  6. Consider aging in place, the ages of all people in your place and how you design a home to support you at all ages and points in your lifestyle, so your home works over the long term
  7. Choose finishes for your flooring that are safe, enhance accessibility and design your home to minimise trip hazards, slips and falls.
  8. Address the street and make it clear, safe and secure how visitors are to enter your home so your home’s design enhances its own security, and the security of the street
  9. Design for natural surveillance, both over the street and public areas, and into play and garden spaces around your home. This will improve your comfort in the home, its functionality, and its safety and security overall.
  10. Reduce your home’s need for maintenance by choosing durable and long-lasting materials and products. This will create a relaxing home that stands the test of time and is manageable financially over the long term.
  11. Make selections for your interiors that consider the indoor air quality, and assess your product and material choices for their low tox nature. And also look at how natural ventilation can improve the quality of your indoor air environment given how much time we spend indoors.
  12. Design indoor / outdoor connections that promote your connection to natural light and the natural environment, and where your climate supports it, create covered outdoor areas you can use to enhance your lifestyle in your home. These spaces will also cool your home by shading it as well.

When you start here, the choice of creating a sustainable home can usually be done on any budget, because it’s prioritised and embedded into the design process upfront. A lot of these tips involve having knowledge and resources to make alternative selections that are more environmentally friendly, more efficient, or healthier for you - and I’ve found that in most cases, they come at no extra cost.


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If we haven’t met before, I’m Amelia Lee, the architect behind Undercover Architect: an online busin 
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