With temperatures soaring at the time of writing, particularly in Melbourne, which for the month of November is witnessing its most drastic heatwave for years, many Australians are considering how to incorporate green principles into their modern luxury homes.
Quality home builders commenting on this space confirm interest in green luxury is on the rise. As one put it: “It’s often thought that here in Australia we’re a land of hefty air conditioning users, but as energy prices continue to rise, even homeowners in the luxury space, who could arguably afford high bills, are looking at ways to reduce their energy consumption.”
“Many clients in this space, who are going to the trouble of designing and specifying a property to suit their needs and their personal philosophy or lifestyle, are naturally forward thinking. They want to make an investment that makes a difference. When they appoint a specialist to custom design homes they’ll often be looking for green credentials.”
New custom home builders will look at the home’s environmental impact from perspective of its design, construction, maintenance, and use and they’ll factor in requirements such as site-specific positioning, use of sustainable and renewable materials, energy-efficient building techniques, water conservation, indoor environmental air quality, and self-generated energy
Quality home builders know how to build green. They will encourage the use of open spaces, modest ceiling heights, and plenty of natural light sources. They’ll also try to use uncomplicated designs that are efficient to build, insulating walls and as much natural light and ventilation as possible.
Many homes feature solar heat and power, a rainwater collection system that’s often hidden underground, double-paned windows and closed-cell foam insulation, which keeps water and air out.
In the outdoor spaces of such properties, responsible use of resources is in itself seen as a luxury. Homes are increasingly boasting organic gardens, beehives or even chicken coops. Meanwhile, given the ravages of the Australian summer, many custom builders report that lush lawns and exotic outdoor plants are on their way out. Instead, many clients are opting for more water-wise native Australian species and the clever use of paving, gravel, concrete, even high end synthetic grass, and planting to create a luxury look without the ecological cost.
Many new custom home builders say this approach is having wider reaching ramifications in terms of overall design choices. While classical or period architecture attracts sumptuous lawns and flower beds, the sparser aesthetic encouraged by desert planting and a more low maintenance approach to garden design is spurring growing interest in contemporary luxury Australian architecture.
“Modern luxury homes are embracing a higher level of consciousness in terms of the environment and this in itself is influencing design. Why source materials locally and favour sustainable options such as treated timber, or use an intuitively adaptive plant selection if you’re going to end up with an old school design?”
It seems for many in this eco luxe space, clean, modern lines reflect a (literally) clean, modern need to living in greater harmony with the environment.