Concept Building Design Green Pod
Concept Building Design has struck a harmonious balance between sustainability and functionality with the Green Pod.
There is no denying that ‘sustainability’ is an industry buzzword at the moment. More and more, homeowners are becoming aware that their future, as well as that of their children, depends on concepts like solar-passive building design and sustainable building principles.
Concept Building Design director Robert Forgione has a strong commitment to such concepts and says the idea for the Green Pod ‘eco-home’ came about when he was inundated with enquiries about his own eco-friendly home in Albany.
Harnessing his passion for sustainable design and a desire to show prospective homeowners what Concept Building Design could do, he set about designing a home that would have ‘as little impact on the environment as possible’.
There were various other stipulations Robert made for the design, including that in the event of a natural disaster, the home would be able to function without being connected to water, electricity and other resources.
A simple, streamlined look was favoured and the home needed to have good interaction with the semi-rural, Great Southern property and harmony with the outdoors.
To ensure the Green Pod has as little impact on the environment as possible, the Concept Building Design team has taken everything into consideration – from the layout and orientation of the home, to the materials to be used in its construction.
When completed, the home will consist of three interconnecting pods so as to maximise its engagement with the semi-rural property. Its orientation means that the ‘living pod’, which comprises the dining area, kitchen and living area, faces exactly north, capturing the morning, midday and afternoon sun and making it comfortable throughout winter. The master bedroom is situated on the east to make the most of the morning sun, while the dining area is on the west allowing for meals by sunset.
Most of the rooms have exits to outside and many have courtyards, allowing for lots of outdoor living.
The home also features two alfresco areas – the summer deck on the east and the winter deck on the west. These areas will allow for year-round outdoor entertaining – an uncommon novelty in Albany.
Due to its layout and orientation, the home will also be able to operate without artificial heating or cooling systems. The thermal quality of the roof, walls and flooring will also be enhanced thanks to insulation. Furthermore, products like rammed earth and natural stone will be used so that any sun that is captured through the north-facing windows won’t be able to escape easily.
When it comes to building the home, as much as possible, the Concept Building Design team has selected materials made from renewable resources. That is, materials that don’t take massive amounts of embodied energy to produce. Rammed earth will be used for some of the walls not only for its good thermal mass but because it involves minimal processing, and bamboo has been chosen over jarrah for the flooring as it grows back more quickly. To simplify construction, Concept Building Design has also minimised the number of different products used.
With natural disasters like bushfires a stark reality, the home has been designed to operate effectively should it ever be cut off from water, electricity and gas supplies. Solar panels will be installed to generate electricity, and there will be rainwater tanks and gas bottles so the inhabitants will still be able to live and function as normal.
Finally, the Green Pod fulfils its brief of a ‘streamlined’ design with contemporary styling and the absence of rooflines.