In 2019 we’re all much more aware of the impact that our lifestyles are having on the environment. What’s more, we’ve all received an electricity bill that made our jaws hit the floor and tempers hit the roof. An energy-efficient granny flat will significantly reduce the amount of electricity you are using, slashing the cost of your bills and reducing your carbon footprint – it’s a win-win. Below are some tips on how to create an amazingly energy-efficient granny flat.
The position of your granny flat
Try as much as possible to incorporate passive solar design into the building of your granny flat. This is the practice of orientating your home in such a way that makes use of the winter sun to heat your home naturally. It also blocks the summer sun to help keep your granny flat cool without the use of air conditioning. Your granny flat can also be located in such a way that allows ample natural sunlight in which is the perfect substitute for electricity-guzzling lights and lamps. Natural sunlight is also good for you since it is loaded with vitamin D and has also been scientifically proven to improve your mood.
At Lifestyle Granny Flats, where possible, we maximise the use of north-facing windows and minimise any west-facing windows. We also use treated glazing on our windows and encourage shade with wide roof overhangs and screens over windows. Instead of reaching for that light switch, you should be opening those blinds or curtains, creating a much more natural and pleasant ambience within your granny flat.
You may not realise it but the colour choices you make in regards to the external and internal decor of your granny flat can have a big impact on how energy efficient it is. You know how you would generally avoid a black t-shirt on a hot day and opt for lighter coloured clothing to keep you cool? Well, a light coloured roof, or a roof with a reflective coating, is basically like putting a nice breezy white t-shirt on your granny flat. For your roof, you want to be thinking about beiges, creams and even light greys.
You should also be applying the same principle when it comes to choosing paint for the interior of your granny flat. Dark walls reflect little to no light, meaning that you will require much more artificial lighting throughout your granny flat. Alternatively, white and light coloured walls will reflect light, significantly reducing your electricity bill.
Similar to the concept of passive solar design, you can also incorporate passive ventilation into your granny flat. Passive ventilation makes use of natural forces to circulate air into and out of an indoor space, creating an airflow without using air conditioning or heating. At Lifestyle Granny Flats, where possible, we execute a set of measurements and calculations which allow us to place windows and doors strategically to create natural ventilation. We also frequently install louvre windows and ceiling fans to assist in this process.
At Lifestyle Granny Flats we are dedicated to developing sustainable housing options through the use of eco-friendly building materials and practices. The three main influencing factors for our environmentally sustainable granny flats are cost, energy efficiency and sustainable building.