An ideal new construction home? You won’t have one until it has been optimally designed right from the start. The work can only be carried out correctly en completely if all aspects are taken into account from the start. Especially now that sustainability is becoming increasingly important. A cosy and comfortable sustainable home – also known as compact living – starts with a well-defined architectural design and therefore involves a lot more than just installing energy-efficient installations.
Compact living, what exactly does that mean?
We all live a lot more compactly in 2023 than we did before. Compact living means constructing houses with as much habitable volume as possible and as little external surface area as possible. As a result, you build with less energy loss, and you build cheaper.
Yet compact living does not mean living small. A spacious villa, for instance, can also perfectly fulfil all the characteristics of a compact home. A compact home does not refer to the size of your house, but to the maximum limitation of heat loss. The more sides and corners your house has, the more of the external surface through which heat can escape if not properly insulated. So if you have a house in the shape of a cube, you have used the most compact building form.
So a compact house is not a small house in area, but one that is most interesting for heat retention within the house.
A buildable area
If you want to build a compact house, it is best not to make the built-up floor area larger than it should be. This way, you leave room for other functions or for green space. If you build compact and not on a larger surface area than is really necessary, you also save a lot of energy costs and you save on raw materials.
Both in the case of a compact and a less compact home, it is always a good idea to orient your living spaces towards the south and to place your windows on the south side of your home. This will provide you not only with sunlight, but also with natural heat, saving you on heating costs. Your bedroom? Those are best oriented towards the south-east.
A flexible design
Living trends and the way we ourselves want to live are constantly changing. Time and again, we find new reasons to adapt our home: children who grow older, spaces that are used differently, you yourself who grow older and can no longer walk well and consequently can no longer climb the stairs… If you design your home flexibly, you will be able to rearrange your spaces much more easily in the long term, without the adjustments having to be made. For example, if you work with larger spans or flexible wall systems, you can easily change the layout of your home over time.
Yes, flexible construction takes a slightly bigger bite out of the budget, but is a more interesting and cost-saving application in the long run and in the case of later renovations. One more tip: make sure you only deal with parties (architects, engineers, contractors…) you trust. That can save you a lot of misery.
Are you planning to build a house, but still looking for land? Immowi might be able to help you out! We’ll bring you into contact with the right estate agents.