5 Sustainable Building Trends In Australia

  • March 5th, 2020

A new decade is upon us, and the home of the new 20s is defined by energy efficiency, new building technologies and evolving design trends. Here is our prediction of the sustainable building trends that will catch your eye and become part of your new build plans in 2020.

Is it a home? Or is it the landscape?

For those of us who have to squint our eyes to make out things in the distance, the latest trend for invisible homes is set to make our lives that bit harder. These environment specific homes are choosing low profile and blended structures that use the colour patterns and materials of the local environment, as well as landscape screening techniques. Green roofs with local flora, building materials excavated nearby (if not on-site), earth ramps and landscaping, all make these homes seem like an organic extension of the land rather than an imposed structure. Add open design spaces and sliding walls, and a vanishing act can occur whereby little is seen that is man-made – and a definite complexity of design finds expression in simplicity of form.

Raw and natural building materials

Natural materials that have been left in their raw form or come direct from mother-nature is a growing trend in new home design. Whether you are seeking an earthy minimalism or rustic sensibility, the unvarnished and untreated nature of these materials means that your build uses less man-made chemicals and requires less processing; a bonus for you and the environment. This year, we are expecting hand-crafted materials to make a resurgence and become the centre piece of many designs – developing looks that cannot be easily replicated.  So too, anything that can be left in the elements to develop its own patina such as zinc and copper as these will continue to add a unique aspect to design. Natural colours and mottled materials will become more prevalent in finishes, and timber will seem less hewn and polished.

An eco-renovation

If you’re sick and tired of the 1-star energy-efficiency rating for your older home, but still love its character and style, perhaps a renovation and eco-friendly extension is in order? A renovation and eco-friendly extension can not only add space and utility but aims to increase the overall efficiency of the home and lessen its environmental footprint.  With an ever-increasing focus on passive design for new residences, many architects and designers are now turning their attention on how to retro-fit older homes to realise the same gains. Altering layouts, creating flow, capturing and shedding light, creating indoor/outdoor spaces and adding technology are all ways that new life can be breathed into homes of yesteryear.

Hidden and smart technology

As smart homes become even smarter and our lives centre more on technology, the seamless integration of sustainable and technological aides will become more prevalent.

Home automation is continuing to rapidly increase in popularity, with the smart home technology expected to have close to 42% household penetration by 2023. Not only does home automation make our lives easier, it makes it easier to further improve energy efficiency.

Roofing materials that act as solar panels, bench tops that charge your devices, new battery storage technology that reduces your need for always-on electricity will all help to reduce the energy consumption of your home. Coupled with advancements in automated systems that sync your environment to its optimum levels and maintain an equilibrium, these additions will become mainstream in 2020 and beyond.

New construction methods with sustainable upgrades

When it comes to how we build our homes, one of the biggest trends is offsite construction. New building technologies, systems and techniques mean offsite construction employs greater flexibility in design while ensuring higher quality control can be maintained. The controlled factory environment, elimination of weather delays and more time in the design phase all help to reduce poor design decisions and inefficient homes.

You might find our blog post ‘Offsite modular builders + offsite construction = faster, smarter, efficient project outcomes’ of interest.

Sustainability has become an integral aspect of contemporary architectural design. And while the definition of sustainable building design and sustainable building trends evolves over time, Modscape’s perspective on sustainability is centred around a desire to create eco-friendly modular homes that are innovative, comfortable, healthy and more environmentally sustainable. We look to minimise environmental impact, maximise year-round comfort and reduce energy consumption and running costs. To discuss how we can assist with your next project, please feel free to contact us on 03 9316 6000 or info@modscape.com.au