May 10, 2012
Before we get started on how we incorporate green principles and ideas into Mediterranean homes, let’s first revisit what it means to actually be a Mediterranean home. You can visit our post on Mediterranean Home Design or read below for a quick summary to catch up to speed.
Mediterranean Architecture draws from a broad range and scale of influences from different European countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece and France. We like to think of Mediterranean architecture as an all-encompassing catch phrase for Western European Architecture.
Most iconic and for that matter still standing Mediterranean buildings were built centuries ago and were designed and built to stand the test of time – or, hundreds of years. A building standing for hundreds of years without being torn down, replaced, or left to a state of decay? Now that’s a green idea if I’ve ever heard of one!
Some examples of Mediterranean homes designed by Ripple Design with applied green practices:
It is often thought that a house designed with green and sustainable principles needs to be a modern, unassuming, quant, or nontraditional home and that ‘going green’ will significantly add to the overall cost of construction. On the contrary, green practices can be employed in any home design and more often than not done on a practical and cost-friendly budget. At Ripple Design, we pride ourselves on using and educating clients about green practices to be used on any scale and at every level of the design process.
Design begins with site analysis and typically ends with picking finish materials and furnishings for your home. Green design principles can be implemented and applied into every aspect of design and our work to achieve the unique goals of your project, be it an overall Mediterranean look, customizable traditional home, or an elegant and sleek modern home, regardless of size.
We initially focus on site design and passive green design opportunities, which are often the most significant and cost-effective green design elements of all. Strong site design and passive green design principles, such as natural daylighting and solar shading, allow a Mediterranean, traditional, or modern home to function simply and naturally in harmony with its environment. This reduces the demand for “active” green design, which includes a wide array of products and systems. The right site design also stands the test of time, requiring little to no change through the decades, reinforcing sustainable practices by not continuously changing the environment surrounding the home.
As construction gets underway and our homes take shape, green design considerations are taken on all accounts. We encourage and help select green building materials that provide opportunities to give our homes a rich patina of character while being conscious and without dramatically impacting the environment. Encouraging the contractors we work with to use efficiencies in construction methods is another way we keep the green in all of our projects. When we look at building systems, it is our goal to always make each and every home a high-performance machine. This is not only a green idea, but will absolutely save you the other kind of green at the end of day, week, month, year.
For a glossary of ‘green terminology’, please visit our Green Primer and Glossary page!