Congratulations, you have decided to remodel or redesign your home. It is a big decision, but one that will maximise your lifestyle and deliver new meanings to the word ‘home’.

There will be plenty of planning, thinking, talking and drafting before the builders are brought in. Most of these conversations will be on how you want your place to look, what functions you want the spaces to serve and how you can boost your lifestyle with a prestige renovation.

It is important to also think about the practical side of things, that can also help improve your lifestyle. For example, how green is your home at present?

You can make your home more energy efficient, smarter at distributing resources and cooler or warmer to suit with a few design tweaks that are easily incorporated into your home design.

You can incorporate cross ventilation by retrofitting fully openable, breeze-catching windows and doors into your design as well as creating new openings in non-loadbearing walls. This will create natural breeze paths which can be further boosted by the addition of ceiling fans if they are not already present.

There is a range of insulation services that can help keep your home cool or warm, depending on the climate, and this is not restricted to just ceilings either. Insulation layers can be installed under paths and pavings, into walls and around the slab of your home to keep things comfortable without reaching for the thermostat.

With walls coming down, additions being made and your property being transformed, this is the ideal time to look at all of your electrics as well. Halogen downlights and standard light fixtures should be replaced by LED or other efficient lighting and there is also a range of smart metering and control systems available that will turn off lights etc in rooms not in use, as well as giving you the power to check and change fixtures remotely on your smart device.

If your bathroom or kitchen is part of the re-design, you can also consider installing the highest WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards) toilets, showers and taps available to reduce water usage.

These are just some of the tips and tricks you can incorporate into your design to help reduce your impact on the environment, lower energy and water bills and create natural ways to improve the lifestyle in your new home.

Urban Design Solutions – Improving Lifestyles and Living Spaces