How often we are tempted to pick up materials and accessories for our homes and buildings based on the running trend, rather than on the climate of the place we live in! Yes, we like to be at the top of the fashion fad, but that doesn’t mean piling up things that won’t suit the environment around.
Efficient and climate-responsive buildings last longer and are great to occupy, whether to work or to spend a lifetime. There are many factors to be considered—whether the space is located on a coast, near backwaters or dampness-creating water bodies; whether the foundation is built over hard ground or swampy filled-in areas; whether the interiors need to be cooled or warmed; and from lighting and linen to wall décor and more.
It’s getting warmer by the day, and it’s critical that we have energy-efficient interiors that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take care of other aspects well. Research says that about 40% of household energy is used for heating and cooling to achieve thermal comfort. In areas with low relative humidity, it is better to design interiors that rely on natural ventilation, instead of appliance-induced cooling. Another technique is to have plants and vines within the buildings, adding more oxygen as well as bringing the temperature down. Add to this, vegetation around the building.
If you have your space where there are lots of insects or animals, or is in a stormy area, be careful to choose safety measures, accordingly. Pest control, mosquito netting, termite-resistant furniture, tempered windows, power back-ups, netted ventilation holes, resilient flooring and ample outdoor lighting are musts. Depending on how close you are to water bodies, rely on measures to minimise effects of fungus, seepage and water-logging.
Orientation of your rooms and windows is vital. And so is the placement of corners. Chairs and tables, desks and drawers need to be carefully placed according to their proximity and usage and not because you saw it placed well in another building. Placement of doors is a significant factor as well. If you think something is amiss, it is better to take a second opinion before installing it. That way you won’t be disappointed, nor will you have to remove and replace something, later on. Plan well, live happy.