Focus

Design frontiers: How 3D modelling puts you in the picture

As governments around the world make 3D design tools mandatory for large infrastructure projects, we investigate how local designers are already using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to get better results for green homes and renovations.

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Recycled timber: material that tells a story

Recycled timber can be a beautiful feature in a new build or renovation – but there’s quite a bit to get your head around when deciding how best to use this valuable material.

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Simple pleasures: saving energy in the smart home

Smart tech has the potential to save energy in the home – but you need to go well beyond a product’s energy-saving claims in order to really work out if the ‘smart’ solution is in fact more effective than a ‘simple’ one.

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Green granny flats and studios: 10 of the best

As cities sprawl and become less affordable for many residents, the suburbs are seeing the rise of self-contained studios and granny flats. We look at the changing regulations controlling these small ‘secondary dwellings’ and feature 10 sustainable designs that are striking the right balance between urban infill, amenity and precious urban vegetation.

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More affordable and more sustainable?

The latest research shows that green homes can improve housing affordability over the life of a building with little or no additional upfront costs – so why does sustainable design not rate in the affordability debate?

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Incentivising green: Green home finance

Government schemes and discounted home loans can make a sustainable build or green upgrade more affordable, so why aren’t householders taking them up? Cameron Jewell deputy editor with The Fifth Estate investigates.

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Did You Know?

Minisimising paved areas in your garden will limit heat radiation and water run-off.