Sustainability is much more than a buzzword: it is the only way we can build for an uncertain future. It will be to no surprise that overall temperatures are rising everywhere, and that climate patterns are changing at alarming rates. From chain heatwaves to floods and bouts of drought, the world is becoming an unstable place to be. But, for better or worse, it’s our only home. And it’s our duty to build for a better future.
Contractors, designers and suppliers are already ahead of the curve, consistently innovating their products to adapt to these new circumstances. Clients are also starting to ask for tailor-made solutions for current problems. “How can we ensure this home is built for all seasons?”, “What can we do to protect our home from extreme temperatures?”, “What decisions are best for the planet?”.
Let us guide you through some considerations you should think about when building for our new normal. And while we’re at it, present you some concrete brands and solutions that will elevate your home.
Build with heavy, durable materials with low K-value
Insulation is the name of the game, folks. If you want your home to survive and thrive in extreme temperatures, it has to have enough insulation to be impervious to them and to maintain a comfortable warmth level year-round.
Before purchasing any insulating materials, make sure you look at the K Factor, a.k.a. the insulation's thermal conductivity, or capacity to conduct heat. Insulation materials typically have a K Factor of zero or less. Overall, the lower the K Factor, the better the insulation.
For example, Clayworks has natural clay plasters that play with tradition, innovation and beauty. Despite them not being strictly insulation materials, their thermal conductivity is around zero; specifically 0.84 W/mK in smooth and tonal finishes.
Another great supplier to look into is Decora Cement. They’re a London-based company dedicated to manufacture, supply and install high-quality decorative cement and mineral products. Their selection of Decora Microquartz is specially stunning and useful: In contrast to other microcements, its hardness is influenced by a variety of unique chemicals, including quartz, corundum, silica, and water-based epoxy resins. Together, these chemicals produce the strongest, most flexible, and waterproof material available on the market.
Paint your roof in a lighter colour palette
Spaniards and Greeks have been doing this for centuries, and they’ve always been right on the money. Light colours are more reflective than dark ones. If you paint your roof a light colour, you can reflect back some of the heat coming from the sun. It is not infallible by any means, but it is definitely a must-have for the long summer days.
Want to maintain a cool home while investing in a holistically sustainable brand? COAT Paints is the place for you. Their premium paint covers opaquely, goes on smoothly, and is durable to no end. Plus, it is low toxic and low odour. Wins everywhere!
Use tiles wherever possible
Again, we turn to Mediterranean traditions to inspire sustainable solutions. Tiles are an absolute must-have in warm climates, and there’s a reason for it. They’re cooler to walk on than carpet, they last for decades if cared for appropriately, and they’re easy to clean.
Continuing in that Southern European and North African vein, we’d like to introduce you to Maria Starling’s stunning tiles. Moroccan cement tiles, porcelain tiles, and handmade ceramic wall tiles are all available for purchase from this beautifully colourful supplier. Every tile is professionally handcrafted and developed in-house to deliver amazing results with modern, distinctive tile designs.
Utilise plants to your advantage
A sustainable and beautiful way to keep the areas just outside your house (and by proxy, the inside of your house) cooler is to create awnings out of plants. The look is gorgeous and it will help you create usable outdoor spaces when the sun is high and powerful.
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