SUSTAINABLE HOUSE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Sustainability has become an integral aspect of contemporary architectural design. While the definition of sustainable building design evolves over time, Modscape’s perspective on sustainability is centred around a desire to create eco-friendly modular homes that are innovative, comfortable, healthy and more environmentally sustainable. All of our eco-friendly homes are based on sustainable design principles that minimise environmental impact, maximise year round comfort and reduce running costs. These principles are applied to every aspect of your home’s design – including orientation, material selection, the systems utilised, and the operations.
ENERGY EFFICIENT DESIGN
Our modular homes in Australia employ passive design principles – design that takes advantage of the climate to maintain a comfortable temperature range in the home by reducing the need for auxiliary heating or cooling. To achieve this, Modscape uses techniques such as strategic orientation and layout, glazed and shaded windows and high insulation.
Your home will be optimised for passive design performance – harnessing the power of the sun, wind and rain specific to your individual building site. We don’t have any set designs or floorplans as your site is unique and should be treated as such.
Your site is firstly analysed for effective orientation, allowing for a northern aspect where possible, maximising the potential of good passive solar design outcomes.
Passive heating and cooling is then optimised through appropriate shading and overhangs, minimising sun exposure in summer but allowing for deep winter sun penetration. High thermal insulation (SIPs, double glazed windows) and cross-ventilation is utilised, while any high glazed areas are controlled with screening.
All new homes must comply with the energy-efficiency requirement of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). An energy star rating out of 10 refers to the design of a building’s ‘shell’: roof, walls, windows and floor. All of our prefab homes meet 6 star energy rating requirements however it is common for them to achieve a higher energy rating depending on the design.
We also consider the size of your new home. No matter how green your planning may be, an excessively large home will not have the same energy efficient and eco-friendly footprint. That doesn’t mean you should restrict yourself in terms of size, however – instead be more thoughtful about the space that is available to you and what you will actually need. Planning your home with your lifestyle in mind is a good start when following the foundations of sustainable design.
As the world population continues to grow, the use of natural resources (and the demand for them) continues to increase. Your new home will be designed to use and reuse materials in the most productive and sustainable way across its entire life cycle.
We’re very aware of the fact that the indoor environmental quality of your home will have a significant impact on you and your family’s health and comfort. Your Modscape home will maximise daylight, have appropriate ventilation and moisture control, high acoustic performance and ensure zero formaldehyde products and low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants are all selected.
All of our modular homes use materials that are recyclable, reconstituted or sustainably sourced. The emphasis on environmental synergy influences our material selection process and ensures that only inputs of the highest quality are incorporated into our designs. Our structural steel frames can be recycled at the end of their lifespan and if timber is used to clad your home, it is sourced from a sustainable plantation forest.
In designing and constructing your modular home, we’re looking at all times for ways to ensure your home is more sustainable. In doing so, we strive to:
- Minimise natural resource usage
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Maximise the use of reusable energy
- Source sustainable materials and those with low embodied energy
- Utilise environmentally credible production
- Recycle and reuse where possible
By constructing your prefab home at our modular construction hub we are able to reduce site waste and environmental impact. Our modern home designs are finalised to standard building material sizes and any material wastage is recycled. It is estimated that the waste from one of our homes fills approximately an 8-meter cubic bin.
A modular home leaves a lighter imprint on the land and having the construction take place in a factory rather than on-site minimises noise, rubbish, dust and debris and maximises the quality of the final product.
ENERGY EFFICIENT SYSTEMS
Design elements such as double-glazed windows for insulation, openable skylights, roof vents and highlight windows that allow hot air to escape, window shading and a hot water system located as close as possible to areas where hot water is needed can all improve your home’s energy efficiency.
The systems we incorporate into your eco house design are all selected to complement the construction of a sustainable house too.
Hot water uses around 16% of the average Victorian household’s energy costs but emissions can be reduced with a greenhouse-efficient hot water system – which can be a solar hot water system, an electric heat pump hot water system or a gas hot water system.
Other sustainable features include:
- Energy efficient appliances
- WELS rated water fixtures
- Energy efficient axillary heating and cooling (preferably hydronic heating and ceiling fans)
- Solar panels added to your roof which will allow you to generate renewable energy and reduce your electricity bills
- Rainwater collection for potable use. Rainwater tanks are a smart way of managing the urban water cycle and can reduce mains water use by up to 60%.
- Greywater recycling for toilets and irrigation
Following sustainable design principles when designing and building your new home not only reduces the impact of your new home on the environment, it also give us the opportunity to experiment with design that highlights function, innovation and technology.
Our philosophy is to create homes that are energy efficient, comfortable to live in and sit in harmony with the natural environment. We recognise the uniqueness of every client, project and site and seek to design and build sustainable homes that reflect this.
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