Tag Archives: Living

6 Reasons Why Living in Housing Societies Should Be Your Preferred Option

Humans are not meant to live in an isolated environment. However, the busy day-to-day schedule of people living in cities often becomes an inherently asocial experience. The last few years, as a result, have witnessed a paradigm shift: people are increasingly choosing to stay in housing societies as opposed to independent homes. In fact, even people who want to buy independent homes are opting for gated communities developed by the top housing architects.

Let us now take a look at some of the major reasons why living in housing societies should be your preferred option:

1. Security

Safety features such as CCTV surveillance systems, boom barriers, and intercom facilities, make modern housing societies more secure compared to independent homes in non-gated communities. Additionally, such societies usually employ manual security with many guards stationed at different gates.

2. Pocket-friendly

Managing an independent house can be hard on the pocket. Modern housing societies designed by the best sustainable design architects provide access to world-class facilities at a fraction of the cost. The amenities in gated communities are managed more efficiently as the resources are shared by everyone living in the society.

3. Social Life

Unlike independent homes, housing societies offer residents a better social life. From festival get-togethers to community events, living in such societies can help forge new ties by instilling a sense of bond among neighbors.

4. Contemporary Lifestyle

You no longer need to travel through city traffic to reach places of recreation. Modern gated communities provide a wide range of high-end recreational facilities such as swimming pools, gymnasiums, shopping complexes, outdoor sports areas, etc. This makes it possible for residents to engage in leisure activities within a healthy environment without long-distance travelling.

5. Better Environment

With segregated walkways, endless greenery, and ample space for unrestricted movement of kids, housing societies designed by the top landscape architects offer residents a stress-free experience.

6. Eco-friendly

Resource optimization systems such as rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, and CNG-based power backup, make modern housing societies an ideal place to live in. The practice of sustainable architecture creates happier living spaces for residents and contributes towards the health of the planet as well.

While it is true that living in modern gated communities is highly beneficial, it is extremely important to only opt for housing societies developed by the top architecture firms; architects who possess vast professional experience in the domain help make community living meet the expectations of all residents.

Green Living in Adobe House – The Benefits of Living in a Green Adobe House

On a visit to Tucson in 2003, an old high school friend of mine, Daniel Snyder of Westwind Solar Electric, introduced me to the designer and builder Tom Wuelpern.  As the award winning owner of Rammed Earth Development, Wuelpern has built many an adobe house in the Tucson area.

Wuelpern lives and works in the Barrio Santa Rosa district of central Tucson and the 800 block of Meyer Avenue has been a principle focus of his creativity.  Here he’s built homes that complement the vintage adobes of that historic district.  When he first arrived there wasn’t a single house left on that stretch of Meyer Avenue so Wuelpern had to live out of a trailer while building his first home.  He says the neighborhood was “a little rough” and that occasionally he’d sit out in front of the trailer “with a gun over my knees.”

Things have changed since those early days when people said that Wuelpern was crazy to build in a “slum.”  Now the original residents share the Barrio Santa Rosa with, artists, architects, symphony musicians, and many other creative types attracted by the rustic character of the adobe house.

Adobe construction was first brought to the southwest by the early Spanish settlers who were originally introduced to it by the Moors from North Africa.

One old adobe after another crowds the Barrio’s dusty avenues, many of them painted in vibrant colors which scintillate in the desert heat.  The Barrio Santa Rosa really has the feel of a traditional Mexican town.

I, being a “creative type”, was enchanted by all of this and when Wuelpern offered me the opportunity to have some input on the adobe house that he was about to build, I had to say “yes.”

And it has been a treat to get to know the pleasures of a small Green adobe house. 

The walls are 18 inches thick and the floor is poured concrete with a radiant heating system embedded in it.  I chose recycled blue jeans insulation which is as effective as fiberglass for temperature but even better for sound, and more green and ecological so that it will never present any hazard to the environment or to anyone’s health.

I get a snug feeling just thinking about my adobe abode.

The paint on the interior walls is uniquely appropriate because it is a non-toxic clay paint composed of earth pigments sourced from the desert landscape itself.  All other interior paints are Non-VOC, so they do not pollute the interior space of the house.  I am always struck by the yucky smell of toxic chemicals emanating from the paint, carpeting, and other components of newly built or remodeled conventional buildings.  It’s the first thing I notice and there is none of that in this Green Living, ecological, adobe house.

In addition to benefiting our health by not out gassing toxins the natural paint allows the thick adobe walls to breathe because it doesn’t form an impermeable skin between the interior air and the walls.  These walls can then act as a temperature and humidity reservoir for the house which stabilizes the in door climate through out the day.

Adobe is not a very efficient insulating material so an adobe house is not the best choice for regions with harsh winters but it is an excellent choice for the desert where it gets very hot during the day and can be very cold at night.  This is because adobe has a good “thermal mass,” which means that as the suns heat is absorbed by the exterior walls it gradually penetrates through the wall to warm the interior during the night.  By the next morning the cold night air has cooled the wall contributing, in turn, to cooler interior temperatures during the day. This allows me to cut back on the air conditioning and the heating. 

Since adobe is essentially an inert material, the “toxic” content of the structure is hugely reduced.  This makes adobe construction, when feasible, a very attractive Green Living alternative.  Adobe construction is a reasonable way to achieve sustainable living spaces appropriate for us and the environment.

This is a very comfortable Green Living and ecological adobe house.  It is a beautiful residence which places no demand or burden upon its occupants; it feels neutral and enriches the spirit with its light and benevolent character.

Sustainable Houses: The Calm Living House in Melbourne

What is it?

You must have heard of the Sustainable homes that are being built all over Melbourne and have been for a few years now. So, I decided to check out and do some research on the internet about the whole thing. Apparently, there are a large number of sustainable houses and you can make a paid trip to some of this. So I decided to check out one of them – the Calm Living House at Upper Ferntree Gully 3156.

Basically, it was built by the famous owner and builder Anton Engelmayer. The house was built with completely eco-friendly objects and is completely passive, that is, it, in no way, harms the ecosystem or the atmosphere.

Here is what I found out.

What are its features?

The house is a standalone type of architecture. It is 54m square, has six large bedrooms and 2 large bathrooms. Its design is adaptable in nature. It consists of two green walls, three green roofs and one rain garden. The presence of such a green infrastructure is beneficial for the solar panels installed in the house. Therefore, the green makes sure that there is enough energy and electricity for the house to run upon. The flora also acts as a binder of the soil, thus preventing soil erosion and water run off by controlling the flow of water at the steep side.

What are the eco-friendly sustainable features?

The house has been built with insulated panels. The paint that was used all over the house, is completely non-toxic and therefore, does not emit toxic fumes, which is harmful to the environment as well as the family living in the house.

The entire household runs on solar energy, which is generated by the solar pv grid system installed. This generates electricity as well as heats water. The temperature inside the rooms remains low due to cross ventilation and the presence of ample green trees.

The house is also provided with a drip irrigation water system as well as an edible garden filled with local as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables. Certain water wise plants are also present in the garden and the surrounding. You can even grow chicken in a coup here!

What is the approximate cost of the sustainable home?

Around 150,000 dollars approximately. They provide tours to the house for 25 dollars. That is how I got to visit it!

Green Homes – Green Home Building For Eco Friendly Living

Green homes are houses that are kinder to the planet. They use lesser energy, produce less waste, and are a healthier environment for the people inside. Green homes come out of a philosophy of being more eco-friendly to the environment. They save on electricity, find ways to cut down on carbon-waste and general energy consumption. Green homes can put money in your pocket, and give you the peace of mind you are doing your bit to help sustain our planet.

Energy

Most of us would to make the world a little “greener” by reducing our home energy consumption. There has been improvement in building techniques and materials over the last couple of decades, which means that homes are becoming more energy efficient. Do you dream of a house with no carbon emissions and zero-net-energy use? This can be achieved with a strategy that includes alternative energy sources, and conscientious fabrication methods and standards. We can channel in green energy into our homes without breaking the bank. There are DIY home energy programs that cost thousands of dollars but there are also DIY Solar and wind turbine schemes that will only cost a few hundred dollars, and that can be implemented without great technical skills. You can reach your goal of a Zero Energy Home, and it maybe just a couple of steps away…

Design: Living Green Designer Homes

When we think of eco friendly homes, or sustainable homes, we probably have an image of an odd-looking place? Too many panels and windmills all over it, maybe half buried on a hill, or too high tech for our budget? That may have been the case once but it’s now possible to design a home that is beautiful, and will give you a degree of independence from both present and future water and energy cost increases and shortages There is evidence of a growing concern about environmental and design issues. There is information available from government from which you can learn about design of green buildings for energy conservation. Good modern design standards readily integrate sustainable features such as rainwater collection, alternative power sources, grey water recycling, solar hot water and water efficient landscaping.

Sustainability

In December 2006, The Code for Sustainable Homes was introduced as a voluntary code in the UK and by May 2008 has become a national standard. It rates the key elements of design and construction which impact upon sustainability and efficiency. It is used by architects, builders and consumers alike in helping them plan and design new homes. The code awards new homes a star rating from 1 to 6, based on their performance against 9 sustainability criteria which assess the overall environmental impact. These are model green home building guidelines!

Building regulations require at least One Star. Six Stars reflects exemplary sustainability.The sustainability criteria by which new homes are measured are:

Energy and CO2 Emissions

Water H20 & Surface Water Run-off

Materials

Waste

Pollution

Health and Well-Being

Management of the environmental impacts of the construction and operation

Ecology

The key is to achieve sustainability without compromising either design or quality. The Code introduces minimum standards for energy and environmental factors affecting the sustainability of a home, and the rating takes into account different elements of sustainability. These include energy, transport, pollution, materials, land use and ecology and health and well-being. The UK Government has set the industry a target of delivering zero-carbon homes by 2016.

The aim of sustainable homes is to deliver real improvements in key areas such as carbon dioxide emissions and water use.

Carbon

Carbon reduction is high on the political agenda of all nations, yet there is a clear struggle for governments to come to terms with the measures that must be taken to achieve the reduction goals that our best science tells us is needed. Much can be achieved by action at the household level that can drastically reduce the enormity of the tasks that faces governments looking at the problems on a macro scale. Motivation for the changes that are needed is key, as it is in anything great but difficult that we strive for. One ‘carrot’ in the budget for households is the direct benefit of reduced energy bills achieved by making an effort to reduce their own carbon pollution. In the UK, London Green Homes service uniquely offers a free telephone advice service, a website and a paid-for green service to provide a free tailor-made package of carbon saving lifestyle improvements. The service has great flexibility, offering Londoners advice on a broad range of actions to reduce carbon emissions from lifestyle changes; and explains how best to save money on energy bills. It is the UK’s first one-stop-shop for information on how to make homes more carbon efficient.

Environmental

A US survey has shown that 87% of home buyers want to know how their homes rate in terms of environmental performance in order to make an informed decision when moving house. Further, 84% would pay an average 2% more for an eco-friendly home. Environmentally friendly homes are no longer a luxury reserved only for the richest Americans. Environmental concerns, dependence on foreign oil, water shortages, vanishing species, are all factors in an increasing the awareness of the call for us to be better stewards of the earth and its resources.

In this environmentally aware world, we are hearing more about green homes, eco friendly living and sustainable homes. Green homes that are designed to be energy efficient, use environmentally friendly and healthy materials and conserver water are becoming the standard. In addition to new building standards, there are simple environmentally friendly, DIY projects that will help curb energy costs, and improve your homes value.

Space is still the most important consideration for home buyers, but environmental considerations and use of eco-friendly materials are very high on the list of priorities. Architectural firms today are often committed to developing creative yet environmentally sustainable components of space for the betterment of lifestyle and family in a way that supports responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. Green living and building, with an emphasis on health, energy efficiency and environmental conservation, has never been more relevant than it is today. As time goes on, there will be more attention given to advocating for socially just and environmentally-minded rebuilding solutions. Home-building imposes very significant environmental and social costs at all levels. Impacts of new home construction include:

quarrying to provide basic raw construction materials like aggregates,

water consumption, and the widespread use of toxic

chemicals in building materials.

Conclusion

Green homes can put money in your pocket, they don’t need to be thought of as an expensive way to do what’s demanded of us for the environment. Sustainable homes give you peace of mind from knowing that you are doing everything you can to help sustain the planet. Sustainable homes don’t have to be unattractive anymore, and unsuitable for residential architecture. Green homes are better for the environment because they use less energy, less water, and have a lower impact on the environment

10 Things People Appreciate Most About Log Home Living

There is no reason to wait until retirement to dwell in your dream house. Start looking into this alternative style of accommodation right now; and find your idyllic refuge.

10 Things people appreciate most about log home living

1. A log home is a retreat

A favourable escape from the accelerated urban sprawl is the rustic idyll of a log home. Indeed, most of them are located away from crowded urban areas and offer a peaceful retreat from the buzzy cities with their questionable air quality that city-dwellers have grown accustomed to. To make the most of a long summer evening or, for that matter any day with beautiful weather, they are often equipped with porches. This outside area of the house is ideal for relaxing or having drinks with friends while engaging in long scintillating conversations.

2. Wooden houses are eco-friendly

The environmental benefits of log home lodging are numerous. In fact, they are often praised as energy-efficient alternatives to traditional stucco-and-cement houses. The thick wood provides substantial insulation to keep residents toasty during the winter and comfortably cool during the summer. In a time when many people are looking to lower their energy bill, living in a log home can prove to be very economical. Furthermore, these houses are made with the most sustainable building material known to man, wood. From the forest to your house, the logs that are used do not have as much of a negative impact on the environment as other common building materials such as bricks, mortar or steel.

3. Stay close to nature while at home

For the hippie inside each one of us, a log home provides a oneness with nature incomparable to the alienating modernity of the city. Surrounded by lush forests, mountains, and other elements of nature, one gains an appreciation for wholesome natural beauty. The interior of a log home is deeply inspired by its natural surroundings. With stone fixtures such as fireplaces – commonplace in cabins – and intricately carved wooden railings and banisters, homeowners commune with the wondrous splendour of nature. These homes have personalized and unique interiors to surprise visitors. Whether you prefer a vaulted ceiling or a wraparound second story platform, you have a plethora of options to choose from.

4. Feel invited

A log home is notorious for its inviting warmth. Lavish creature comforts abound in cabins; lay down a bearskin rug and it will be a perfect complement to a ruddy oak floor. Curl up by the fireplace on a plush sofa or armchair and enjoy a classic novel; you will not be interrupted by street noise or pesky neighbours, since your house is innately and pleasantly soundproofed. Richly embroidered tapestries and classical baroque furniture are not oddities in a log home. For the less theatrical homeowner, modern stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are also suitable for these types of residence.

5. Enjoy the outdoors while you stay in

For the social type, a wooden house is the perfect location for a community barbecue or gathering of friends. A typical log home is wrapped by a vast and ornate porch elevated off the ground. It is the perfect spot for an outdoor kitchen or in-ground hot tub. You can relax on a comfortable porch swing while watching the sunset from your outdoor paradise. A log home is like a perpetual vacation. Bask in the natural light from the high windows of your living room or sunbathe on the balcony outside your bedroom.

6. A house that is nicely decorated

Log homes are renowned for their beautiful construction. Architecture of these houses is rich with delicately carved banisters and hanging wooden supports that give your home a comfortable, cosy feeling. Appreciate the wall hangings and luxurious art adorning your log home. The rustic charm can be augmented by gorgeous additions that emphasize the earthy nature of the lodge; recommended additions are tapestries in rich red velvet and pristinely oiled rugs.

7. A wooden house smells fantastic

The wood in a log home is durable and permanently imbued with rich earthy vibes. The scent of a log home is permanent. The appealing fragrance of fresh wood endows the cabin with a natural comfort befitting a vacation home. No car air freshener or scented candle can compare to the alluring aroma of natural wood. Pleasant scents are proven to be calming, if the reality of living the dream in a beautiful natural landscape is not enough to soothe you.

8. Excellent safety

These houses are not a fire hazard though that might seem counter-intuitive. The girth and durability of the logs resist fire in a very reliable way. An ordinary house is far more prone to collapsing due to a fire than a log home, making the latter a resilient lodging option. Should you be enclosed within a log home during a fire, it would not be difficult to escape. The numerous windows typically built into a cabin offer alternative escape routes to ensure your safety.

9. Maintenance is fairly easy

A properly constructed log home requires little upkeep. Aside from treatments to prevent mould and rot, a stain may be applied to the exterior of the cabin periodically, in mild spot treatments, to maintain the colour of the wood. And that is all you need to keep your house in top shape for many years if not generations.

10. You will impress your friends

There is nothing like a backyard barbecue to bring families and friends together. What better way to spend a summer afternoon than lazily sprawling on the front porch of your luxurious log home? Friends will be envious of your laid-back lifestyle and soon find themselves yearning for the simple life. You will have everything: the tranquillity of wide-open space and the comfort of a modern respite away from the hectic clamour of the city. The flats your loved ones reside in cannot compare.

There is no reason to wait until retirement to dwell in your dream house. Start looking into this alternative style of accommodation right now; and find your idyllic refuge.