‘Low Carbon’ output begins with the design – tinkering with a flawed design at a later stage will have limited effect so it is important to get it right at the beginning.
Careful thought should be given to the following:
Size does matter so it is important to give consideration to matching space requirements with real use demands. The shape of the building can affect not only the total construction cost but also its carbon output.
Orientation of the design is important – remember to follow the sun to reap the maximum benefits.
Think about the room arrangements – who needs sun flooding into a utility room or a view from a broom cupboard?
Remember to incorporate ‘Buffer Zones’ where possible. This includes placing non habitable rooms on the north side and air locks at the main use external doorways.
Consider the services you require – wet rooms in close proximity to one another minimise pipe run lengths which in turn improve operational efficiency.
Open fires with chimneys are not good news – instead, why not opt for an enclosed wood burning stove with well sited combustion air arrangements and insulated flues – these are an ideal form of secondary space heating.