Reading: New Natural Home by Dominic Bradbury

Design & Build

Plan a second expansion plan if childcare centre grows.

Consider natural cross ventilation ideas and a natural exhaust system that draws in cool air from the lower levels and expels hot air from operable skylights at the top of the building.

Install flexible louvres or ventilation gaps which can be opened on hotter days but easily and efficiently sealed during colder spells (Trombe walls).

Let there by Light

A high quality of natural light not only lifts the mood of the home but cuts down on energy used to light dark and underlit spaces.

Look at creating internal courtyards or outdoor terraces that push into the outline o the building itself, as such spaces can be highly valuable in drawing sunlight deep into the home.

Skylights can be a huge help in enriching spaces coursing light directly from above and drawing it down into the home.

Positioning skylight alongside internal walls painted in light and reflective colours is one way of successfully bouncing light into a room.

When using artificial lighting look towards: Energy efficient Halogen Bulbs and LEDs.

Consider white, light or reflective surfaces – including insulating paints – for canopies and roof finishes to help reflect sunlight and prevent heat build up in warmer climates.

The Material World

Look at softening the raw quality of concrete with the use of mor natural materials such as timber and stone. Such contrasts can be effective and seductive.

Consider customizing concrete finishes where appropriate with pigments or polishing and also patinas, such as the outward imprint of timber boards on created surfaces when used as temporary box moulds for pouring concrete.

If you use concrete, you will need to offset it with sustainable materials e.g. green rooves.

Indoor/Outdoor Living

Provide for everyday routines such as composting within the design and layout of a garden or outdoor space. Home composting bins cut down hugely on waste that may need collection, as well as providing free fertilisers.

Ensure easy access to outdoor rooms and terraces. Spaces used for outdoor eating and entertaining will usually need to be within ready reach of the kitchen.

Use indigenous or hardy plants suited to the local climate.

Given the countless benefits of home grown and organic products, look at incorporating fruit trees, herbs and vegetable beds into your garden design where possible.

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