What Is Sustainable Home Design?

Sustainable home design is something that is trending for valid reasons. They align with the sustainability mindset, cut the cost of living, reduce your carbon footprint, and enhance the value of your home. Whether you want to resell the property or own it for a lifetime, sustainability gives it a premium. But you may not know what to look for while buying an energy-efficient home. The design of the property is perhaps the most significant factor in this context. Let us simplify the selection by defining the features that make a home design inherently sustainable.

Builder looking at the plans and completed new construction home - What Is Sustainable Home Design?
Sustainable home design starts from the planning stages.

Sustainable Home Design Attributes

Building Site Orientation

Proper site orientation is the best place to start when looking for a sustainable design. A passive solar home takes maximum advantage of the sun’s energy. For example, developers in the Northern Hemisphere should look for north-south sites to minimize direct sunlight during the hot weather and maximize it during the cold weather. In both ways, the energy requirements for cooling and heating are optimal.

Likewise, site orientation also optimizes the availability of natural light in home interiors. Pay extra attention to the orientation of key areas like the living room, bedrooms, and kitchen.


If you’re building a new construction home, your choice of location will be more limited than browsing all the available homes across the city. But the location will always be an important factor no matter which path you take.

When prioritizing sustainable home design, you’re looking for more green locations as they ensure a better lifestyle for residents in the long run. Look for a Greenfield Development over a fresh lot of land that has never been used for real estate or agricultural purposes before. The concept is big right now, so you can easily find a project that entails it. 

Optimal Insulation

One new home-building trend centers on choosing the right insulation. Making smart choices for a home can drastically lower cooling and heating loss. Well-insulated properties are sustainable because they have limited energy requirements, resulting in comfortable living and lower utility bills. Besides good insulation, look for a design that features star-rated windows with multiple panes that keep the summer heat out and winter warmth in. A cool roof is another viable feature as it reflects sunlight instead of absorbing it.

Energy-efficient Installations

Building zero-energy homes requires more than energy-efficient building shells. You can go the extra mile with designs that include sustainable installations. Start by looking for high-efficiency HVAC and water-heating equipment. Star-rated appliances and electronics, LED lights, and smart automation devices make a significant source of energy savings in sustainable homes. A rooftop solar installation takes you a step ahead with sustainability. Besides cutting your carbon footprint, these devices and installations can enhance your lifestyle. 


Think beyond interior design when looking for a sustainable property because landscaping matters more than you imagine. Shades with trees on the east and west of the property can limit sun absorption. Moreover, they can also reduce the impact of freezing winds in the winter. Overall, the heating and cooling requirements of the house go down with good landscaping. 

A sustainable design makes a home worth living in… in more than one way. It also promises a wise investment that grows in value over the years. You must definitely consider these features before buying a home. 

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.