Sustainable House Features
As many of us have spent more time than ever inside our homes, we’ve come to gain a whole new appreciation for the natural world around us. The surrounding beauty of Australia’s vast and diverse natural landscapes instils a calming and grounding influence amidst our busy lives, which are so often filled with screen time and jam-packed schedules.
One of the best parts of building new is that you can incorporate this connection to nature in your home from the beginning, by maximising natural sunlight and boosting the indoor-outdoor flow with open plan living leading out to an alfresco. It also means that you’re able to incorporate energy saving and environmentally friendly and sustainable features from the very start, rather than doing painstaking renovations and having to retrospectively fit out your home. Benefiting you, as well as Mother Nature in the long run.
To celebrate Sustainable House Day, we’re diving into the top ways that you can future-proof your home and the environment, as we work towards a better, healthier planet, together.
To us at Simonds, creating a sustainable home means delivering energy efficiencies that have an immediate impact on a customer’s carbon footprint, while also looking holistically at the lifecycle of our designs and providing homeowners with greater, affordable living outcomes over their lifetime. As we’re trying to leave a better world for younger generations, what better place to start, than right in the home.
All of our homes receive an energy efficient assessment and certificate from an independent, accredited sustainability consultant, based on the state that they’re built in. For you, this means lower water and energy consumption, and savings right back in your pocket with each quarterly bill. You also have the opportunity to future-proof your home with solar panels, double-glazed windows and energy efficient appliances.
Simply put, a holistic view of wellness is at the heart of every Simonds home. From the sustainable materials we build with, to the spaces within that have been designed to promote healthy living and connection, we strive to embrace sustainability in many shapes and forms.
And today’s home buyers do too. Boosting energy efficiencies, and incorporating solar panels and skylights are just a few, value-adding ways to make your home more eco-friendly and appeal to the current buying market.
As we build your new home, we’re proud to be working every day alongside our large range suppliers, many of whom like us are locally and family owned, and who also share our commitment to sustainable living in production processes, staff culture and community engagement. From timber sourced from certified sustainable suppliers, to the filtering and recycling of water used in production, we’re proud to work with suppliers that actively share our commitment to sustainability.
And we’re constantly working towards new, sustainable innovations and features for our homes, so that we can maintain momentum moving forward and provide our customers with a greater range of choices when they’re building their new home.
To get you started, we’ve got 7 tips for sustainable living to consider when building your new home.
1. Let There Be Light
To start you off on your home-building journey, our New Home Specialists are at the ready to help you with the positioning of your home on your block of land, so that you can maximise natural sunlight and save on energy bills in the process. While you’ve probably heard of maximising northern light before, it’s important to also look at the location of your block and all of the spaces within your home. Our New Home Specialists will talk you through all of your structural options, whether that’s a rear flip, skylights or bigger windows, to ensure that your living areas have their moment in the sun.
Value-adding features, such as skylights, reduce the need for artificial light and give the illusion of a larger, more open space. Providing you with that connection to the outside world and an uplifting flow throughout your home.
When it comes to artificial light, we’ve come a long way in recent years, with LED lighting consuming approximately a third of energy compared to traditional halogen bulbs. Not only do they use less power, but they also have a longer average life span. From strip LED lighting in your home theatre, to LED lights in an L-shaped bulkhead in your entryway, there are so many ways that you can get creative with artificial lighting in your home.
2. From the Outside In
Across Australia, we’re no stranger to extreme weather and different climate zones. From torrential rain in one corner of the country, to an absolute scorcher in another, not to mention Melbournians who so frequently experience four seasons in one day; when you’re building, you want to be confident knowing that your home can withstand the harsh Australian elements.
Depending on where you live, roof and facade colours can have a big impact on your energy bill and comfort levels inside your home. We recommend having a chat with your New Home Specialist and Gallery Consultant, to see how you can maximise your energy savings, while sticking to your Developer Guidelines and achieving a sleek and contemporary roof and facade.
3. Harness Mother Nature
Save on your power bills each quarter and harness a source of renewable energy for your new home with solar panels. They’re an investment straight off the bat, but one that will pay off throughout the years, and energy bills, to come.
And why not capitalise on the sun always shining? We recommend having a chat with your New Home Specialist and Gallery Consultant, as they can walk you through all of the ins and outs of adding solar panels onto your new Simonds home.
4. It’s All About Balance
Stay cool in summer, and warm in winter. Insulation creates a comfortable living environment, preventing less heat from escaping in the cooler months and less heat being absorbed in summer, so you’ll be less reliant on heating and air-conditioning. In our homes, Bradford R3.5 and R2.0 Glasswool batts come as a standard inclusion to the roof space and external walls respectively (VIC). Similarly, double-glazing on your windows works to the same heating and cooling effect.
Insulation should also be viewed holistically, as it’s not just down to the batts in your ceiling and walls. Other insulating techniques, such as shutters and window furnishings play their part in keeping your home comfortable, and our interior design qualified Gallery Consultants will walk you through all of your options, so that you can be confident in all of your decisions.
5. The Little Things Count
Sustainable living is all about embracing features in your home, both big and small, that do their part. Tapware is known as the jewellery of the home, as it’s small in size and has the power to dazzle and complete the ‘look’ of a space. But it can also do its part for the environment. With our tapware supplier Alder’s innovative SAVE MODE, you can reduce household hot water energy spend by up to 20 per cent. The vast majority of commercial mixer taps use 50 per cent hot water and 50 per cent cold water when the neutral lever position is raised. But what does this actually mean? It means that every time you’re turning on the mixer, you’re igniting your hot water system. With SAVE MODE, the neutral lever position uses 100% cold water.
6. Use Technology to Your Advantage
A key part of our design philosophy at Simonds is embracing both form and function when creating a welcoming, comfortable and nurturing retreat. At Simonds, we led the way in offering Delos-designed Darwin technology as an optional upgrade to our affordable home designs, because we believe that all Australians have the right to a home that lets them live well. The Darwin platform monitors and purifies air, filters water and adjusts downlights to natural circadian patterns. All of which can be controlled from a dashboard in your home or via your smartphone.
7. Embrace New Habits
When it comes to embracing new, sustainable habits, we know that changes don’t just happen overnight. But luckily, when you’re building new, you’re able to incorporate features into your home, like a butler’s pantry, that give you that extra opportunity when you’re exploring uncharted waters of composting, bulk-buying and limiting single-use plastics.
Commonly, people perceive a butler’s pantry as a home feature designed for entertainers and dinner party aficionados. While this is most definitely still true, they’re also a great addition for supporting sustainable habits. Providing you with a separate, closed-off space where you can tuck away your kitchen compost bin or recycling station, and prevent smells and odours from wafting throughout the rest of the home. The extra storage space means that you’re able to bulk-buy, which limits single-use plastic, reduces transport miles and allows you to save big on your weekly supermarket shop. Not to mention, having the extra bench space is a life-saver for bulky appliances, like coffee machines, blenders and juicers. Encouraging you to make your own, rather than always turning to those takeaways.