If you are in the process of building a house or planning on doing major renovations to an existing one then you should probably stop for a moment and think about the latest innovations and trends in the green and sustainable building spaces. The truth is that what was regarded as cutting edge design and development thirty or forty years ago is very different to what is now regarded as innovative and best-practice. But sadly in many instances you still have to ask your architect to incorporate these new ideas into the design and flow of the house. Many of them are obvious, most of them are easy; they all offer major long term benefits, to your budget, your comfort and to the environment. Here are a few things you should be considering. 

The sun is your friend 

The more off-grid you are able to live the better and in this regard the sun is your friend. So if you are looking at a solution for utilities and electrical Sunshine Coast or surrounding areas, you would be foolish not to be incorporating solar into part of that plan. Quite simply the sun shines a lot and instead of drawing on the national grid, which for the most part is powered by nuclear and coal, you are creating your own solution and potentially even feeding back into the grid. 

A good architect will ensure that the panels are seamlessly integrated into the design of the house while a good electrician will do the installation. Simply use the internet to find an accredited installer by typing a phrase like ‘solar panels Sunshine Coast’ into a browser. It is a decision that you will never look back from. 

Let nature in 

A good designer should try to make sure that your house is as open and light as possible. Gone are the days of small windows, which were thought to help keep the heat in. These days the thinking is geared towards lots of natural light, which means less use of electricity. But with the bigger windows come additional solutions to prevent glare and heat loss. Look at including double-glazing in the installation and potentially at windows that can be tinted as well to prevent glare. Alternatively blinds are back in fashion and they can perform a similar function. 

Use water wisely 

Water is an increasingly scarce resource and this is something that needs to be taken into account when building a house. Gutters that are installed so as to harvest rain water are important, as are the storage tanks that house that water. To be of any real benefit the tanks need to be big which means that they can be unsightly. So from that perspective it helps enormously if they are part of the initial planning and house design. They can easily be kept underground or behind the outbuildings if those exist. But they should also be plumbed into the water supply to the house and garden to ensure that you are not collecting in vain. A good efficient system will go a long way towards lowering your water bills.         

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