A house is not a home unless it satisfies your personal aesthetics. It is important to keep a strong sense of your aesthetics in mind throughout the planning and design process, and to continuously monitor decisions you make about all the other criteria to ensure that your choices align with your desired aesthetic outcome.
Despite the intimidating array of finishes and “looks” it is possible to achieve, there is an enduring elegance to allowing form to follow function. For those who are striving to design a more sustainable home, the criteria outlined in this home design will often suggest a particular aesthetic, or at least narrow the options. Buildings that are aesthetically satisfying are often those in which the structure and the materials are allowed to “speak” in a way that is direct and unencumbered by “faux” surfaces or treatments. It can be a valuable exercise to consider the aesthetic options directly offered by all of the chosen building materials and components before thinking about covering them with an additional surface treatment.
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The numbers of factors determining the final aesthetics of your home are many, and there are excellent resources and skilled professionals to assist you. Seek plenty of advice, but in this criterion more than any other be sure that any advice you accept sits well with you. about defining criteria and setting goals, you probably realize that making a sustainable home takes more than slapping some solar panels on the roof and a coat of low-VOC paint on the walls. To make a meaningful impact on the environment, your health, and your finances, there are many factors to be considered and balanced.
This is a lot of work, especially if you have to do it from scratch. Luckily, there are many smart and dedicated people who have worked hard to make this easier for you by creating a variety of rating systems to help you determine if and how you can meet your own personal criteria.
This home design provides a useful overview of a number of these ratings systems. Most of these rating systems have accompanying documentation that would rival this blog in length, so what follows is not a comprehensive review of any of them. Rather, it is an attempt to show you what system(s) might best fit your needs now that you’ve had a chance to consider the various criteria presented in the previous home design.
We will look at two different kinds of rating systems: whole building rating systems, and material and component rating systems.