The Self Build Self Help Site Climate Change

A one-stop shop of information for people interested in self build - whether self building a complete home or undertaking an extension, renovation or modification.

Climate Change

Adapting home architecture to cope with climate change

As our climate changes and homeowners become more concerned about energy efficiency and the cost of energy, the style of houses is changing in order to adapt to the new conditions. How a home is constructed and the materials used can affect a number of areas linked to climate change. When you are designing and building your own home, it is the perfect opportunity to create a sustainable and energy efficient property.

Climate issues

The construction methods used in buildings play an important part in fighting the negative issues of climate change. There are problems if properties are not designed appropriately. Older buildings have large areas where heat can easily be lost, such as through ill-fitting doors and single-glazed windows, causing wasted heat and increased bills. The lack of effective insulation makes homes colder, causing residents to turn up the heating and to burn more energy.

Properties are increasingly being built with sustainable power in mind, which can play a large part in reducing the adverse effect on the environment. There is a range of options available, with costs now lower than they were initially, making solar and wind and biomass systems much more affordable.

Design of modern homes

When new properties are constructed, it is vital that building companies and self-builders adapt their plans to meet the current climate needs. You should think creatively, rather than just opting for traditional sources of energy. Research exactly what is on the market and the benefits of each source, so you can find the ideal option. This could include a solar system, ground and air heat pumps or a wind turbine if the aspect and the land allows.

Even if you have the most efficient energy sources you need to ensure that the construction of your building complements them. The fabric of the property is just as critical, as a home that lacks sufficient insulation will be less energy efficient. Many of the new building regulations focus on insulation and energy efficiency, so there will be minimum standards that you need to meet. When you design your property you should focus on insulation in the floors, roof and walls.

The method used to build your home can be another way of reducing heat loss. Having an airtight structure results in less wasted energy and prefabricated systems are generally more effective at this than block or brick homes; however, those materials are good at absorbing heat and then releasing it inside the home.

Windows and glazed doors bring in natural light but they are also a source of heat loss. Ensuring they are covered correctly can limit this impact and still allow you to draw in light and heat from the sun. Made to measure shutters are particularly effective at this as they allow full control.

As climate change becomes an increasing issue for the building industry, the sector will face more challenges regarding the design and construction of properties. Building regulations are regularly updated to consider new areas to ensure that builders focus on energy efficiency and reducing environmental damage.