Brisbane Eco Homes

With the market for new homes taking a turn for the better, new Brisbane home buyers are increasingly seeking eco-friendly solutions for their family’s enjoyment.

Jim Taylor, Unique Homes’ managing director is embracing the trend. He believes custom built eco-friendly homes are more likely to be a profitable long term investment.

“Buyers are more conscious of environmental issues that ever before,” he says. “They’re seeking energy-efficient homes built from environmentally-friendly materials.

“Home builders are choosing their building sites carefully. But this doesn’t necessarily mean the block has to be the most expensive in the area. A home custom designed to suit its site can be more eco-friendly than a standard project home on a more expensive allotment.

New homes featuring the very latest in eco technologies

A custom home currently under construction is being built on a difficult, fan-shaped block that’s remained vacant for over 25 years. Although the land is very steep, the home has been designed to take full advantage of its unusual site. On completion, it will enjoy magnificent city skyline views.

Mr Taylor says it’s doubtful whether standard project home plans would have been able to fit the shape of the land and even if they did, it’s likely that considerable unused land would have been wasted.

“No matter what the architectural style, people are showing a preference for green and environmentally sustainable home designs,” he says. “Almost everyone wants to reduce pressure on the planet’s natural resources. While many of the homes we build are quite large, we compensate by making them eight-star energy-efficient.  We install rainwater catchment systems, grey water recycling systems, select the most efficient insulation, design the homes to capture prevailing breezes and use the lowest power-consuming appliances and light fittings available. For example; Louvre windows are an excellent way to improve cross ventilation. The latest LED lighting systems greatly improve lighting while simultaneously reducing electricity consumption. Electricity consumption can be further reduced with roof angles designed specifically to suit optimum siting of solar panels and solar powered hot water systems.  We also incorporate wide eaves so walls are shaded from the hot summer sun and windows can be left open when it rains.

“Good design, combined with efficient insulation can reduce on-going energy costs considerably and newly developed building materials contribute to the eco-friendly building process,” he said.

However, Mr Taylor cautioned against adopting some emerging architectural innovations. “Glass roof panels are increasingly being incorporated in some new project home designs.  These may be suited to the cooler climates experienced in Melbourne and European cities, but in the climate we enjoy on the Gold Coast, they allow too much sunlight to enter a home in summer. The home becomes a real sweatbox inside and cooling costs rapidly escalate. We prefer to install opening skylights as they allow hot air to rise and escape, leaving the home more comfortable inside.”

The sensible option for warm climates

Mr Taylor says custom designed Brisbane eco homes also make sense in many other ways: Working directly with the builder and designer, the owners are able to avoid compromises. Before construction commences, the owners’ concepts and ideas can be explored in great detail. Everyone has their own particular needs and wishes. A large family might be looking for more space in the media room, or a wider selection of private areas where they can pursue their own hobbies and interests. A musical family may need additional space for a grand piano while people who regularly entertain may appreciate a larger alfresco dining area. Many of these ideas are developed after years of compromised living arrangements.”

Mr Taylor concluded by saying that while eco-friendly homes are increasingly being demanded by new home buyers, from an investment perspective, as energy costs escalate their efficient design attributes will be keenly sought by intending buyers of existing homes.

For all matters concerning Brisbane Eco Homes, contact Jim Taylor and his team at Unique Homes today.