Sustainable Buildings


Sustainable building design is about decision making & strategic planning to balance environmental, economic & occupants needs. One of the key principles to achieving sustainable development is to ensure the health, diversity & productivity of the environment is maintained & enhanced for future generations & that in doing so, ecological integrity is conserved.

Some of the considerations when designing a sustainable building are:

  • Optimal orientation-for favourable sun & breezepaths
  • Good solar access
  • Shading from unwanted sun
  • Fresh air supply, free of toxins & allergens
  • Thermal comfort- adequate insulation, minimising air leakage & thermal transmission (Thermal bridges), high quality windows.
  • Thermal mass, required for Passive solar design but not required for ‘Passive House’
  • Materials that are Sustainable, ie.from renewable resources, have longevity, non toxic, recyclable at end of use, & the benefit they bring to the overall energy performance of the building weighted against the carbon produced in their manufacturing
  • Economically sound- source & recognise systems that save money as well as the environment that have a payback period shorter than their life, ‘Passive House’. Challenge the status-quo on home size, ie can rooms have a multi-purpose & therefore reduce the footprint of the house? The larger it is the more it costs to build, operate & maintain. Establish the true cost of a building project, upfront cost+ running costs + maintenance cost over its life period. When we do this analysis it becomes evident that sustainable buildings make better economic sense.
  • Carbon neutral- energy efficient, zero energy, energy positive.
  • Waste-free, be part of the circular economy-reduce/reuse/recycle/return to earth as contrast to the current liner economy of take/make/dispose in the buildings full life cycle.
  • Healthy – air quality, natural lighting, reduce exposure to radio-frequency radiation, noise minimisation, social & community interaction, provision to grow food, more tolerant to extreme weather conditions
  • Socially responsible- utilise materials & labour that has been equitably & ethically sourced
  • Have Longevity- consider the visual appeal, a sophisticated building will far outlast an ugly counterpart, consider the expected maintenance & lifespan, adaptability for changes in future use
  • Avoid the depletion of natural resources- water, minerals & metals
  • Toxic free- Avoid chemicals that are known to be harmful to humans, animals & the environment during construction & the full life of the building, take measures to eliminate risk of mould growth ‘Passive House’ building methodology
  • Are universally accessible- wheelchair friendly
  • Interact with nature & the natural elements- biophilic design, sunlight, natural ventilation, access to nature & gardens
  •  ‘Passive House’ methodology. This systematic approach to designing & building has the solutions.  Take a look at this link What is Passive House & what are its benefits?


Sustainable Buildings give more than they take. My goal is to collaborate with others to reverse the environmental damage that humans have inflicted on our planet & provide a truly regenerative future for all.

If you would like to know more about how you could build or extend ‘Sustainably’ I would be happy to guide you.




Considerations during the design concept & development phases include:

  • Orientation to harness natural light, winter warmth & summer cooling breezes
  • Does the building envelope need to preclude external noise, air pollution or undesirable air temperatures from entering the building?
  • Cross ventilation & appropriate windows
  • Zoning- To reduce heating & cooling demands & create private or communal spaces
  • Insulation & sealing the building to reduce unwanted thermal loss & gain
  • Thermal bridging reduction
  • Thermal mass to assist with winter warming & summer cooling
  • Windows & Glazing to assist with winter warming & summer cooling
  • Shading & Sun control
  • Efficient heating & cooling devices, passive & mechanical
  • Energy efficient lighting & appliances
  • Energy efficient hot water heating
  • Proposed energy usage & Solar photovoltaic systems
  • Flexibility of building & room uses
  • Re-use & re-purpose of buildings & or materials
  • Longevity & durability of new building materials & how to extend their lifespan
  • Selecting building materials with low embodied energy
  • Water efficient devices
  • Rainwater tanks & or water re-use systems
  • Environmentally & Socially responsible building materials – Seek out certified standards for sustainable resource extraction & fair labor practices
  • Healthy interior air quality by selecting low VOC finishes, avoiding products that produce toxic gases & providing good ventilation
  • Prevent the incidence of mould growth by controlling humidity
  • Home automation to assist with thermal comfort etc
  • Waste reduction during construction & operation
  • Enhance positive impact on neighbours & streetscape, reduce negative impact

I would love the opportunity to show you how to reduce your carbon footprint, reduce your bills & create an elegant, healthy, comfortable home.

0410 191 908