Energy Efficient Architecture in Spain
Despite what some would believe, it’s important to remember that energy efficiency where you live or work is not about sacrificing your lifestyle, your productivity, or your budget. A sustainable, energy efficient building is not designed to suppress your energy needs or curb the luxurious lifestyle an architect-designed commercial or residential building in Spain brings. Instead, energy efficiency is about finding ways to allow you to use as much energy as normal, in a more sustainable way. The benefits are immensely measurable in a number of ways, and many of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency in your building design can be small but powerful, offering measurable improvement to your life, your investment, and the environment in a simple, straightforward process that’s easier and more affordable than you may think.
Why are Energy Efficient Homes Superior?
Making your home more energy efficient has enormous benefits for you as well as for the environment. Energy efficient homes are more comfortable. When designed and built correctly, your building – whether commercial or residential, should better maintain a comfortable temperature all year- round, with significantly less need for heating or air con. You’ll be lowering your monthly energy bill, lowering your environmental impact, and still staying refreshingly cool even at the peak of hot Costa del Sol summers and comfortably cosy as the temperatures drop in winter.
Energy efficient buildings also have a significantly higher resale and rental value. It may or may not be in your immediate plans, but should you ever choose to sell or rent out your energy efficient building, studies have shown that you could ask -and get, up to 10% more for your property. And as the demand for sustainable building design goes up, that percentage most assuredly will too!
Finally, energy efficient buildings are healthier for the planet. For all the benefits that your energy efficient commercial or residential space in Spain brings you, it can’t be forgotten that you’re not only doing something for yourself, you’re making the world a better place. Buildings, after all, make up around 39% of the total energy consumption in the world and 68% of the total electricity consumption, so by making your Costa del Sol building design more energy efficient, you’ll be contributing to a significantly healthier planet, too.
How Can I Design My Space to be More Energy Efficient?
If you’re wanting an energy efficient home, office, villa, or other building, working with an experienced architect to design and build it is highly advantageous. By letting them design your building around energy efficient measures rather than attempting to retrofit energy efficient measures later on, you’ll save significant time and cost in the long term. Here’s some elements you and your architect could discuss during planning:
Location: The location of your building in Spain can help contribute to a more energy efficient space. A great architect will take your plot location into consideration as well as the size, shape, and orientation of your new building with energy efficiency in mind. West-facing buildings, for example, consume up to 26% more energy than south-facing ones and strategically incorporating windows for natural light in place of electric bulbs can cut energy usage down by 14% – especially in places like the Costa del Sol where we get lots of sunlight all year long.
Building Materials: Knowing what materials to use to build your energy-efficient building can significantly impact its sustainability. The difficulty in choosing building materials when designing your sustainable building, though, is that there are countless elements to be considered and literally endless combinations of ways to use them, which is why choosing an architect well-versed in sustainable and energy efficient design is one of the most important parts of building your energy efficient residential or commercial building. Make sure, too, that your chosen architect has experience working on the Costa del Sol, as the unique micro-climates that can happen here can affect building material choices, which only a local architect will be well-versed in.
Subcontractors: From start to finish, a new building in Spain will require a number of subcontractors, from builders, to electricians, to plumbers, landscapers, masons, and more. An average of 22, in fact. And each one of them will have their own impact on your building’s sustainability. You may want to consider local subcontractors to reduce their (and your) carbon footprint to get to the build site, investigating your subcontractors’ own environmental priorities, and giving value to those with experience in building eco-friendly designs. Like choosing your building materials, your architect will be able to do most of this for you, too, especially if they take the time to get to know you on a deeper level, but if you want a more hands-on approach to building your new eco-friendly house in Spain, getting to know your subcontractors is another way to be involved.
Interior Design: The interior design of your home, villa, or commercial space is where you most likely -and rightly, will want to spend your personal time when designing your energy efficient property in Spain. These are the more obvious elements you’ll see and interact with on a regular basis and choosing environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and energy efficient ones can really make an impact in your everyday living and on the environment. Investigate energy efficient appliances, low energy light bulbs, solar panels, and double (or triple) glazed windows as a start, but also work with your interior designer to fit the right shades or curtains over windows to regulate temperature, arrange furniture in a way that allows for proper air flow when you do switch on heating or air con, consider paint or wallpaper colours that could affect energy efficiency, and strategically use floor coverings to your sustainability advantage.
Designing an Energy-Efficient Building with McLundie
McLundie Architects are a team of trained architects and interior designers with over 30 years of experience, most of that on the Costa del Sol and Gibraltar and all of them with a personal passion and commitment to sustainability, including the successful design and build of energy efficient homes and buildings across the Costa del Sol, Gibraltar, and beyond. We believe that buildings should uniquely reflect the wants, needs, and lifestyle of those who live and work in them, that respecting the local environment has long-lasting effects for your comfort and your environmental impact, and that you can -and should, be involved in the creative design and build of your building or home. Together, these core values create a ethos that surrounds the McLundie Architects team; one that’s client-centred in everything we do with the highest level of professionalism in all aspects of your building’s design and construction.
We would be happy to get to know you to discuss your ideas and plans for your next building endeavour, whether residential or commercial, and how we can use our expertise to deliver a more sustainable, more energy efficient, and all-around better building for you.