“INTELLIGENT BUILDING –Need of the Hour”
“THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME - It’s a safe haven for its occupants.”
What is an Environmentally friendly house?
A house is a system of inter connected components. Even one badly designed component can affect the whole system, therefore, one has to plan and design the system very minutely.
An environmentally friendly house is designed and built to be in tune with its occupants, nature, environment and ecosystem. It is designed and built according to the region it is located in, keeping in mind the climate material availability and building practices.
Basic Design Principles for a Nature Friendly House
This is very basic but extremely important factor. Proper orientation of a house is often overlooked and ignored during the design phase of the project. Site specific planning is very crucial for a nature friendly house.
Orient the house to take advantage of the prevailing breeze during the spring and summer season.
- Orient the house appropriate to the region’s climate. For the hot climate of our southern and western regions minimize the solar gain by minimizing hot afternoon and late morning heat gain. In these regions orient houses wherein long side faces south and north.
Reduce Energy Gain Or Loss
Depending upon the climate unwanted solar gain or loss is a critical issue. For example maximum exposure to sun is needed in cold climate.
- Ample roof overhangs are key to reducing heat gain in hot climate. They also help in saving energy, providing some spill over space and increase the life span of the building. If cost is an issue, then design the overhangs, only for southwest facing doors and windows.
Dark Roofs Absorb Heat
These are good for cold climate and bad for hot climate. Provide a radiant barrier for hot climate.
- If budget permits introduce a well shaded double pane window especially on the south wall.
Light is energy producing element in the house .Take advantage of the sunlight as much as possible.
- Clearstory windows are the best way to achieve this goal and also help in naturally siphoning heat out of the space.
Landscaping is a very important part of a house design; it also requires careful planning so that it doesn’t become a burden for the house owner and the community.
- For areas with draught problem provide a thicker layer of top soil so that lawn requires less water in summer season and water is conserved during draught period.
- Preserve the top soil while grading and excavating for the foundation and harvest it as top soil on the site.
- Design of the building should itself be as such that greenery should flow into your house.
- Nature not only provides a design element to the house but also makes the environment livelier.
- Install external ventilating exhaust fans in windowless bathrooms where there may be a lot of internal moisture generation. This will help in reducing mold and mildew generation.
- Install automatic switches on all exhaust fans to save energy.
- The concept of cross ventilation in a building is a mandatory factor as it helps in keeping the house fresh and you energetic.
Usage of Paints
- Avoid using high sheen or glossy wall paint on the exterior
- Use low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) latex paints on
the interior walls.
These are some of the suggestions to make your building more energy efficient and thereby reducing the load of electricity bill on your pocket.
So lets stand together to convert our house into home,sweet home.