Our purpose at Gruen Eco Design is helping others to live a sustainable life and to design energy efficient and sustainable homes for future generations.

And while I love helping clients to design their energy efficient dream home. There is something really special about working on a townhouse development. Or I should rather say working on a sustainable development.

Sadly, most people cannot afford to engage a building designer or architect to design their own energy efficient home, let alone have the money to build such home. The sad reality is that most homes build by developers are far from sustainable and energy efficient. Most investors are only concerned about their return and do not care about the actual performance of the house or the longevity of materials or utility bills of future tenants or owners.

Unfortunately, a lot of the homes on the market advertised with 6, 7 or 8 stars do in fact perform quite poorly. The energy rating program does assume all insulation and draught sealing is done perfectly, whereas in reality this often is not the case. And many homes that have 7 or 8 stars on paper have been audited with an actual performance of 3 or 4 stars, due to faulty application of insulation and air-leakage. Which means that the majority of people have no other choice than to live in cold and draughty homes with high utility bills.

Because of that; if a client comes to us and wants to do a sustainable development we get really excited. It is so important to create and build those sustainable and energy efficient homes for future generations!

The interesting thing is that building an energy efficient and sustainable development is not that hard, and does not have to cost much more than doing it the “standard “way. It’s more a question of being smart with the materials used for construction, the orientation and layout of the dwellings.
Creating homes that feel spacious and bright without being huge (quality over quantity) Spending your money on the important things that you or any future owners or tenants will never ever change, like windows and insulation. And being smart with other selections. There are quite a few areas where you can save some money without compromising on the look of the house.

Also, studies are showing that you do get a premium for energy efficient homes. So, it is a no brainer. You’re doing something good for the environment and make a profit. On average you can get a premium of 10% for a 7 star home.

Getting the right people to work with you to ensure all insulation and draught sealing is done perfectly without any gaps or thermal bridges is paramount.

If you are thinking about doing a subdivion or to build some townhouses, please feel free to give us a call and we can tell you more about how to design and build beautiful and affordable energy efficient and sustainable developments.

The image below is rendering of a 4 townhouse development in Ivanhoe that we are currently working on.