South Africans are slowly starting to become a bit more engaged with low-energy housing options, thanks to organisations like the Green Building Council. But why isn't it taking over the nation?
For starters, it is difficult to adapt to new lifestyles where we lower our carbon footprint and consume less energy. Secondly, the initial cost of investing in this type of technology can be quite high. The third reason is that often people are not attracted to the design of low-energy homes, especially the interior. It can be quite plain!
We need to move to a place where a low-energy house is about more than just heating and electricity. We need to realise that low-energy homes can be very attractive and the economic aspects can also be very appealing.
What we want to aim for is a home that features a constant temperature throughout the four seasons that is both pleasant and satisfying.
Although the initial construction cost is something to consider, we end up saving on so many expenses long-term and our quality of life is that much better.
Today, we are going to look at a wide range of models so that we can truly understand just how beneficial and attractive low-energy houses can be. Let us explore them and imagine just how comfortable life can be in a low-energy home!
First, let's have a look at this very welcoming low-energy home.
The client in this project had a great interest in eco-friendly homes that feature solar panels. Therefore, the design of the home was carried out with the roof design as the main consideration. The inclination of the roof was designed so that the panels on the roof could be integrated.
We can see how the sloped roof translates into an indoor design. In the middle of the first floor living room, we can see how there are wooden beams positioned across the ceiling. Between these, there is an eco-friendly air handling system that provides comfortable air flow throughout the room.
This is a wonderful, modern example of a cosy living room in a low-energy home, thanks to J Hyana Architects.
This is a wonderful example of a passive, low-energy home.
This Austrian home was built in the forest. In the summer, the inhabitants just need to open the large glass windows and doors to allow fresh air from the outside to flow throughout the interior. This minimises the temperature difference between the outside and the inside of the home. Therefore no air conditioning is required!
By scanning the bedroom, it looks like something out of a painting! The room is surrounded by lush trees, thanks to the large windows on each side of the room. The glass door slides open, allowing the inhabitants to adjust it depending on how much fresh air they want in the room.
What's more is that all of the bedroom products fit in perfectly to this design.
If you have the space, design a bedroom so that it is positioned on the second floor. It will feel more natural – like you are in the middle of the forest.
Like this kind of home? Have a look at this: Fascinating home among the forest.
In this design, we can see another view of a passive home. Yet it has a unique interior that is incredibly compelling. It is energy-efficient and beautiful all at the same time!
Energy-saving homes include homes that are designed with a lot of natural light. There are windows and glass doors, which are all triple-glazed to prevent heat loss. In addition, there are usually heat recovery units installed in the home to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Design your home so that you get the maximum amount of sunlight in your home and you will have a space that features a unique and functional design element.
Have a look at these tips for: Bathing your home in natural light.
This modern home boasts a unique structure, with a sunken courtyard that is surrounded by the low-energy structure.
By utilising the sunken structure, the architects have been able to turn the roof into a garden, creating a very pleasant atmosphere. The courtyard is also protected from any wind and the solar panels allow the sunlight to radiate into the home.
This was a 1956 home that was renovated after 50 years by a family who wanted to conserve energy. The reconstruction has been incredibly successful, where every aspect of the home is taken advantage of. This is innovative architecture at its finest!
This low-energy house features an ideal look!
The house is called
Home Ground and is designed by Just-In House. The walls are covered in wood. Wood has a wonderful advantage as it adjusts the room's temperature and keeps it beautifully insulated.
On the outside of the home, the walls are covered in earth and grass. This low-energy home features a beautiful interior and exterior!
The interior is also designed in a tunnel-shape, which creates a very stable structure. This also gives a very pleasant feeling to the inside of the home, which looks like it comes out of a fairy tale! You feel like you're living in nature, in this beautiful home!
This home in the UK features a Structural Insulated Panel (SIP). SIP insulation technology means that you can save up to 87% of energy usage with high thermal insulation and other technology secrets.
The panel has been covered with a facade that makes it look very minimalist and stylish – you would never know by looking at it that it features energy-saving dimensions.
The large windows that are featured in this home don't only look stylish but they help to save energy. If the blinds are lowered across this window, textures and colours come together in perfect harmony – the height of luxury!