Man has yet to come in terms with the fact that the Earth doesn’t belong to him. Instead, he belongs to Earth. The recent years have seen a spate of disasters one after another, every year in succession. Naturally, we have only ourselves to blame. But the important question is, what can we do to improve our ecology? The answer lies in adapting Sustainable Interior Design and Architecture Practices.
Sustainable Interior Design- What does it mean?
If you understand what Sustainable architecture is, then it becomes easy to understand what Sustainable interior design is.
‘Sustainable Architecture’ is consciously and deliberately minimizing ecological and environmental impact of a structure to its surroundings. Also, it promotes practices that avoid wasteful design and resources.
So a sustainable interior basically which not only makes great use of recyclables, but also contributes to nature in daily life.
And that takes us to the next question- how can you, a designer, do it? Here are some pointers to keep in mind.
1. Make the maximum use of space- make it ‘efficient’.
As a designer, try to make the most of spaces. And this way you can also restrict the size of the building, while keeping spendings in check. Also, keep a track on energy-saving features when you select lights, faucets, closets etc. Well, the right choices help to save a lot of money in future.
With decreasing land options and increasing housing demands, only smart practices like Micro-housing can be our savior.
2. Use Eco-friendly materials for designing.
Avoid spending money on materials that may harm the environment. In fact, there are many regulatory bodies that certify building materials based on their performance in Eco-friendly properties. So try to select such quality materials.
Another way is recycling materials. Choose reclaimed wooden window frames,shutters, door leaf and frame instead of opting for a new one.
Also, you can add a touch of classic elegance by including such wood in furniture making, such as cabinets, chest of drawers etc. Other materials are paper, hemp, bamboo and glass,among others.
3. Pay attention to building services.
The facilities that you include to make the rooms more comfortable, are together known as building services. So a lot of thoughtful planning is often a deal maker. For example, when you plan windows, follow the local patterns in size and shape- it is suitable to the local weather condition.
Try to avoid Air-conditioner by using materials that lower interior temperatures, such as terracotta ceiling tiles, roof tiles, mud plastering etc. And if you can’t do without it, look out for Energy Star rating of the AC unit. You can also reduce the room volume by means of a false ceiling.
Instead of an Inverter for power back-up, go for Solar Panels. Also, you can try insulating rooms to avoid temperature exchanges.
4. Be energy conscious with lights.
Observe daylight sources in a room before you plan lighting for it. And try to use all of the available daylight by putting it to effective use. Also, you can opt for skylights / fixed windows if your design permits.
For additional light sources, select those which save energy and are durable as well. These days, LEDs are a popular choice for different light needs.
Another point is, planning the lights around the intended use. Though initially it may be a bit costlier, but in the long run, it cuts short your electricity bills. And that is because certain tasks don’t need whole area to be lit up. Of course, you can take care of it using a task light.
5. Do a background check of all your purchases.
Make sure that every material is Eco-friendly not only in use, but also in its make. So when you buy a wood substitute like plywood or particle board, check for its making process. These days, there are proper guidelines that companies should follow.
And as with any new material, make sure that it doesn’t release toxic fumes or react with weather changes in a harmful manner.
6. Select Sustainable Interior Design styles while designing.
Different design styles display different features. However, there are certain styles that are pro-nature. And one such style is Minimalism. Also,be clear with your designs. Provide green options wherever possible. You should make your client aware of how thoughtful design influences the surroundings.
7. Merge Nature with the interiors.
These days there are a lot of options to bring in greenery even in the tiniest of spaces. Go ahead and make it a part of your design. Also, when you go shopping for landscape items, make sure there is no wastage with use.
If you are planning a water body, consider aquascaping as an option. A tiny room can have a terrarium and a decent balcony, its own share of potted plants.
You can create amazingly healthy spaces that prove to be economic in the long run as well. Well, the best way to live in nature is to live with it.