How to Design a Sustainable Home? 9 Easy Ways

January 19, 2023
How to Design a Sustainable Home

Key takeaways:

  • Drip irrigation systems are a great option if you want to minimise water consumption.
  • Refrigerators, boilers, and heat pumps all have energy-efficient options to use less electricity and lower your monthly energy bills.
  • Solar panels and window glazing are also popular methods. They may be costly initially, but are more efficient in the long run.

Wondering how to design a sustainable home for your family to lower the carbon footprint on the environment? If yes, you are at the right place.

There are many ways to create a sustainable home, but the most important thing is to start with an environmentally friendly plan.

Focus on using energy-efficient lighting, appliances, and other energy systems to lower energy consumption as possible. Besides, revisit them regularly to look for opportunities to cut down on water and energy use.

What is a sustainable home?

A sustainable home is one that continues to function with or without the aid of humans – it is environmentally sound and economically viable. It is a safe, comfortable, and economical habitat that can lift the quality of life in ways both large and small.

How to Design a Sustainable Home

You can make a home more energy efficient to meet your growing needs while protecting the planet’s resources, the health of its inhabitants, and their communities. Knowing how long it takes to build a home and the costs involved will also prepare you better for the journey ahead.

9 ways to design a sustainable home

There’s no need to get a new, green home from scratch. You can make all the repairs you need to your current house and get it up to date with renewable energy solutions. The first certified Passive House in Sydney offers many insights for inspiration.

Here are some ways to make your home a sustainable, eco-friendly place:

1. Eco paints and water-based paints 

You can make smart choices in paint colours, finishes, and application materials to make your home more energy efficient.

How to Design a Sustainable Home

Paints made with plant-based ingredients or water-based technology have little or no off-gassing. So, they can do less damage to indoor air quality and are a safer alternative to conventional oil-based paints.

2. Drip irrigation system

Drip irrigation systems are an increasingly popular option for people who want to minimise their water consumption.

How to Design a Sustainable Home

A drip irrigation system is a customizable, precise method of watering plants, enabling you to water exactly how and when you want.

3. Energy-efficient appliances 

Green and sustainable design is more than just the size of your roof. Buy energy-efficient appliances, such as high energy efficiency refrigerators, boilers, and heat pumps to use less electricity and lower your monthly energy bills.

4. Cool roof 

A cool roof is a highly reflective rooftop that cools down the inside temperature of your home and reduces energy costs by reducing the need to turn on the AC. This works especially well in very hot climates, or during summer months.

5. Smart metre 

If you’re serious about reducing your energy use, you should consider replacing your regular energy metre with an advanced smart energy metre.

A smart metre is a new type of electricity metre that allows you to see the amount of energy you use.

Tracking your energy usage can help you save money, reduce your impact on the environment, live more comfortably and avoid peak times for electricity pricing.

Thus, a smart metre will allow you to view your energy use in real-time and take action to save money.

6. High-performance windows 

Windows are typically responsible for over half of the home’s heat loss in winter and can be up to 30% in summer.

The key to improving this factor is to reduce the amount of heat that escapes through your windows. It is something that is easily achieved with new technologies such as double glazing, nonconductive frames, and special coatings.

How to Design a Sustainable Home

Double glazing and low solar gain can cut your energy bills. Besides, triple glazing and an insulated frame design can keep you warmer.

Casement windows are best for hotter climates where air conditioning is the norm. Besides, fibreglass or composite glass windows make energy-efficient homes in colder climates.

7. Passive solar design

Passive solar design features elements that harness the sun’s energy and natural light to heat and cool your home without making any direct changes to the structure of the house.

For example, glazing (windows) can be placed on southern exposures or walls can be insulated for better thermal performance. You can come up with a design to maximise the winter sun and minimise the summer sun.

8. Choose sustainable materials

Materials are the largest contributor to the environmental impact of your home, so it’s important to choose the right ones.

When you buy a kitchen unit or bedroom furniture, look for options made from natural materials such as wood, metal, and glass. Consider choosing sustainable materials when you’re remodelling too.

9. Reuse and recycle construction waste

Ensure that construction waste is dealt with correctly and disposed of responsibly, both on-site and at a waste disposal centre.

Remember that recyclable materials should be reused as much as possible during the construction process. For example, you can use residual concrete or bricks for flooring later in the building process.

You may also want to consider selling certain materials that have residual value. This can be a useful way of offsetting some costs during the build.

Wrapping up on how to design a sustainable home

When you want a sustainable house design, it’s important to understand the different areas that impact the environment.

The sustainable house features everything from insulation to rain gardens, solar panels to photovoltaic shingles, and everything in between. Each of these decisions affects air quality, water consumption and waste production in sustainable homes.

At Soho, we can help you design a sustainable home that suits your needs and lifestyle. Learn how to reduce your energy and water consumption, discover eco-friendly alternatives, and save money!

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
Share this article
Don’t waste time searching for a home. Let our AI do the work


Soho logo

Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier 

Soho logo
Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier.