SUSTAINABLE BUILDING DESIGN
SBD Sustainable Building Design consultancy 22 Yamby Rd Strath Creek Vic 3658 Tel 03 5797 0277
We believe that sustainability is just as naturally a part of building design as meeting any other element of our clients requirements. It is fundamental to providing comfortable, affordable, durable and desirable places to live, work and play. It might take a little more forethought and careful planning but it doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. On the contrary, our aim is to make it easier and cheaper for the users both now and into the foreseeable future. Click here for free resources on sustainable building design techniques.
We provide a normal design service direct for clients and also act as consultants to other building professionals. Having built a house in rural Victoria with our own hands we have a very practical understanding of what is appropriate and the particular issues associated with rural construction such as bush fires, termites, wildlife, difficult sites, extreme weather etc. Click here for illustrations of current Australian projects.
Our sustainable design aims
“Sustainability” is the buzz-word of the day and we over use it as much as anyone else. In the seventies we used to call it “conservation” of resources. In the eighties we called it “long-life, loose fit, low energy”. For most of history it was called “common sense” and things like recycling which some people claim as new initiatives were a normal part of life. In relation to building design it is difficult to improve on the simplicity of the definition given by the Roman architect Vitruvius and translated in the eighteenth century as: “Comodity, Firmness and Delight”.
“Comodity” - Client satisfaction
A building must satisfy the requirements of the immediate client, the users in general and aim to anticipate the needs of future users. Our satisfied clients are our best testimonial.
Containing costs is always important and we always try to explain options to clients in terms of cost-benefit. This applies as much to reducing energy use and improving comfort as to any of the other element of design. We practice the “art of the possible” which means that although we aim for perfection, we realise that it is better to achieve most of our aims than to fail in all of them. We start with design elements that give the most “bangs for bucks” such as orientation, natural ventilation and natural light which often involve no extra cost then work through the other techniques such as shading and insulation which often pay for themselves in lower running costs and move on to additional technologies such as renewable energy generation and efficient services that can be used to make buildings zero carbon and more future proof.
Buildings require a large capital investment both in cash and embodied energy. They need to last a long time to justify this investment. This means that they have to be designed with the flexibility to respond to future changes as well as the strength to withstand the ravages of time. Minimising maintenance is also important in reducing the life cycle costs. For example, if the chances of a building being destroyed in a bushfire can be reduced by more careful choice of materials it might be worth a little more initial investment. While it is always desirable to minimise embodied energy this has to be judged in the context of life cycle costs since buildings consume far more energy in use than in construction.
Whether we like it or not, buildings shape much of our everyday experience. It is self evident that we should aim for buildings that delight - even if what delights is very subjective.
Whether we describe ourselves as sustainable building designers, eco house designers, green home designers or any other way of describing environmentally sensitive designs, it is the care and thought put into the design process that is important. Whether designing for the UK or Victoria an understanding of the particular local climate and site conditions is essential to the success of a comfortable, energy efficient, cost effective and inspiring design.
Memberships & Affiliations (click on a logo for links to the organisations)
SBD Sustainable Building Design consultancy Reg No B2254407R
Tel: (+61) 03 5797 0277
Address: 22 Yamby Rd Strath Creek Vic 3658
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