Sustainable Design

While this is a very broad topic, I do want to talk about a couple things related to sustainable design as a whole. Sustainable designed structures are generally very eco-friendly, and person friendly. Sustainable can refer to as the way the materials are built or a highly sustainable structure, not very reliant on outside maintaining sources, or both. I want to address the idea of size. Does a house that is sustainable have to be small? No. However, think about size when you build.

The size of your home is directly related to the amount of money you will pay to upkeep it, sustainable or not. Try this method, get the house design to the size you want it, and take out X amount of square footage throughout the whole floor plan, or X amount from each room. My Grandma has a strategy that she used when packing: when everything is ready to go into the suitcase, only put in half. It is an interesting habit, and can similarly be used with building. I'm not saying cut your square footage in half, it is just something to consider for last minute savings on construction, as well as long-term savings on maintaining costs.

If you are not too excited about this method of making spaces a little smaller, consider this idea: when you have a final building plan, take the time to go through each room and analyze the space. There are many tips you can use as a checklist in order to maximize the space you will utilize. For example, if you do not spend very much time in your bedroom, then maybe you should take space from your bedrooms and give it to the community spaces. Consider giving a portion to the community spaces. Think about the closet spaces, if any. Would dressers be doable alternative? That will save on resources without a doubt. Consider building bench seating along sections of the dining and living room walls (even in the bedrooms!) that can cross as storage.

If you get creative with the spaces you want, then you will find that you can not only save on building and maintenance costs, but you will enjoy the uniqueness of the spaces you do create to fit your specific needs. These are just a few ideas to help think about the space you have. If you think in terms of keeping the spaces small enough to save, but not too small so you feel scrunched, you can really come out head. The key is to maximize your space efficiency while avoiding unnecessary amounts of space. This will greatly help you keep your home in the sustainable design direction.