Balanced design and sustainable energy solutions lend protection against erratic temperatures
By Paul Benton
Record temperatures are bringing summer life to a sticky standstill throughout much of the eastern and south central United States; and despite San Diego’s enviable distinction as one of the nation’s most temperate locales, inland and coastal residents alike are hardly immune to unpredictable weather patterns. While some scientists warn against reading too much into this year’s heat-saturated summer, the Washington Post reports that many experts predict the emergence of a harsher temperature regime as a result of global climate change: and regardless of where they live, homeowners should prepare for changing seasons and erratic temperatures in order to remain content and comfortable in the years to come.
Until recently, many homeowners have relied primarily on energy-dependent air conditioning and heating systems to manage indoor temperatures. But as energy prices skyrocket and supplies dwindle, a growing number of San Diegans are realizing the need to incorporate climate control elements into every facet of home design. When executed correctly, such design elements can conserve energy resources and ensure comfort for all seasons – all while lending homes and businesses alike a unique ambiance that significantly enhances the quality of the space.
Design features to customize your space and capitalize on energy savings
An experienced architect can adjust or incorporate a variety of features within the home to maximize comfort, energy efficiency and living environment. Several examples include:
- Windows: As conduits for natural light and fresh air, and as barriers against rain and bad weather, windows have a tremendous effect on both the atmosphere and temperature of any given space. Architects can adjust the composition of and insulation within the glass, and create overhanging roof eaves to shield windows from excess sun while moderating light infiltration for the ideal blend of sunlight, warmth and shade.
- Entrances: Entrance design can be modified to suit different environmental conditions. For example, thick walls with added insulation can make a living space quieter in a busy neighborhood, while carefully selected floor stones will collect heat from the sun throughout the day and remain warm and inviting into the evening.
- Landscaping: Trees and foliage can have a significant impact on interior temperatures by lending strategic shade to windowed rooms, decreasing glare and improving the quality of light introduced into homes and businesses.
Done properly, design renovations like these can help control and even cut energy costs for heating and cooling in a permanent and sustainable fashion. And not only that, they can transform a house or place of business into a treasured environment – one in which residents feel both comfortable and inspired, relaxed and refreshed.
At Alcorn & Benton, we incorporate energy calculations as a matter of course and consider thoughtful, intuitive design to be standard operating procedure. Our architects makes every effort to take advantage of sustainable strategies, and we take pride in demonstrating resource and utility savings while completing creative and effective projects for our clients. To find out how to bring balance to your San Diego home or office, visit us online: www.alcornbenton.com.
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