While design trends come and go, having an eco friendly home that is stylish, comfortable to live in and costs less to run will never go out of fashion. Here are four trends about the eco-home movement to inspire you only next year, but for a lifetime.
1. EXPOSED TRUSSES AND BEAMSA sunny, natural light-filled home has always been in high demand, however in 2018 we can expect more homeowners looking at other ways beyond windows and skylights to maximise natural sunlight and create a feeling of openness. Pitched roofs with exposed trusses are increasingly popular as they create a feeling of spaciousness, even in homes on the smaller scale. High ceilings and open plan living will typically create a bright, airy feeling, and by eliminating a light-blocking ceiling, you will be able to harness every bit of sunlight possible. Naturally lit environments increase productivity and comfort and, of course, provide you with substantial energy savings.
The look of exposed beams can range from rustic to modern, depending on whether you decide to keep them raw and natural or freshen them up with a coat of crisp, white paint. Metal and cement elements can lend an industrial feel, and creative lighting options are endless. Eco Essence Homes embraces the use of high ceilings with exposed trusses and rafters, which are included in many of their home designs. More than just an architectural feature, they are a key factor in eco-friendly home design due to their ability to harness natural light, channel cool breezes and release hot stale air, therefore reducing the need to rely on artificial lighting and reverse cycle air conditioning throughout the day.
2. GREENERY BEYOND THE GARDEN
With more and more homes being built in urban areas, many homeowners are finding that they don’t necessarily have the space for a sprawling garden. Vertical gardens, balcony gardens and green roofs are all great options for adding some greenery to your home, as is bringing potted plants indoors. Varieties such as a spider plant, peace lily or bamboo palm are great choices for their air-purifying qualities, while big, leafy tropical plants will bring an uplifting energy to your home.
Eco Essence encourages homeowners to create a healthy and ecologically responsible building by considering green roofs and walls in their home design. Not only will they improve thermal performance and stormwater management, they’ll also encourage biodiversity and local food production.
If a green roof or green wall isn’t achievable, we suggest making it about smart design and encourage you to incorporate nature where you can. For example, plant a private garden courtyard off your bathroom, creating a flourishing spa atmosphere. Blur the lines between indoors and outdoors by integrating bi-fold doors and large windows that open onto a courtyard or fish pond. Think about how to use standard building materials in a different way. Sub out a concrete driveway for a permeable grassed driveway, adding a touch of greenery to your home.
3. HEALTHY, HAPPY HOMES
Considering the amount of time we spend in our homes, it makes sense to do everything we can to ensure that it’s a healthy place to be. Good ventilation, indoor plants and a regular cleaning regime can go a long way in improving air quality, however choosing the best materials to use from the very start is key to creating a healthy, eco friendly home and space.
Eco-buildings have a positive impact on your families’ health, both physically and mentally. Pollutants should be minimised by opting for sustainable, non-toxic products. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are one of the worst offenders when it comes to air pollutants, so the team at Eco Essence selects paints, glues, materials and finishes that have no – or low – VOCs to ensure homeowners can enjoy the healthiest air possible.
4. MIXING MATERIALS
Using a combination of materials, both new and recycled, is one of the simplest ways to integrate sustainability into eco friendly home design and create a unique facade. Reclaimed wood in particular is filled with character and each piece tells a story – utilising it in your new home will not only help the environment by saving the material from going to landfill, it will also add a unique look to your home that can’t be replicated. Combine this with the clean, smooth lines of Scyon Stria™ or Scyon Axon™ external wall cladding for a contemporary home that is still filled with character.
Eco Essence recycles and reuses materials wherever possible, whether it be reclaimed flooring, aged timber posts or recycled benches and shelving. The team also reuses, reduces and recycles 80 per cent of its waste so that it can be reused in future manufacturing of building products.
*"4 trends in eco friendly home design for 2018". (Dec. 8, 2017). Eco-Essence Homes. Retrieved from, http://www.ecoessencehomes.com.au/4-trends-eco-friendly-home-design-2018/.