Self-sufficient sustainable home created on a low budget

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Sustainability is one of the key considerations property developers now have when planning a new build. The more sustainably mindful elements, the more likely a building is to be popular. This is because the public are more environmentally aware than ever before. In Spain, a team of supermarket developers have decided the store will only sell food grown using biodynamic methods. Elsewhere, a biological house was created using only upcycled farming waste.

Dutch architecture company KAW has also created a home to demonstrate how sustainable principles can be implemented on a new build at a low cost. The ActiveHouse is the home of Reimar von Meding, a partner at KAW. The design aims to minimise the environmental impact new homes often create. The house has large windows to let in as much natural light as possible and to act as a natural heating source in the colder months. This is an important part of the house design, as sunlight is so useful in multiple ways. When energy is need for hot water or heating, solar panels power a heat pump.

Inside the property, the structural wooden panels remain exposed and painted with a non-toxic paint. The house features an extension, initially intended as a garage. When von Meding decided to get rid of his vehicle, this space transformed instead into a living area. There are no doors on the ground floor to create an expanded sense of space. There is simply a staircase in the centre separating the kitchen and living areas. The house is located within a new urban neighbourhood in Rotterdam that is based on traditional Dutch housing schemes from the 1930s. This setting is within the site of a former hospital close to the city centre.

Takeaway: Many often think that future proofing older constructions simply requires implementing the latest technology in all areas. However, sometimes the smallest of changes can have the biggest impact, as proven by the ActiveHouse. Big windows and open spaces are attractive and common sustainable principles such as solar panels can make all the difference. What small investments could your company make at the start of work to make a building more sustainable and innovative?


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Spotted by Maria Castano, written by Springwise.
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