Several things come to mind when one says “sustainable home.” To some, it could be an ultramodern high-tech home-of-the-future designed by skilled architects and engineers that deliver all the mods and cons of luxury without breaking the bank.
This is the mental image that comes to mind when some of my better-off clients ask for a home, looking to fulfill their need for comfort and style while keeping their carbon footprint really low. And on paper, it makes perfect sense. Contrary to what hippies would like you to think, ecologically sustainable design often involves more efficient technology and carefully planned architectural solutions to maximize energy efficiency.
Other architects rely on good design but add a much more ecologically friendly twist, utilizing either locally sourced or recycled materials in the construction of a building.
Sustainable doesn’t always mean flashy, however. Not all of my clients want something that ultramodern. Sometimes, those looking for fixer uppers have taken a subtler yet nonetheless effective path to sustainability.
Take your average suburban home and retrofit it with durable, thermally efficient windows and doors and better quality insulation and you’ve got a home that consumes less energy to heat and cool, reducing its carbon footprint significantly.