There are three things you should expect your home to be, functional, beautiful and sustainable. An architect is a listener, he or she will listen to your requirements carefully and will explore how you are and how you live so he or she can deliver the best solution for you. An architect will help you to accomplish this, but there are things that even when you are working with an architect you should be careful about and you should enquire, a few of them are listed below:
The orientation of the house: From the beginning, you should make sure the house is facing north, that the bedrooms and the rooms where you spend the most of your time receive as much sun as possible, this will not only help to have a warm house in winter, but this can affect your economy, as depending on how much sun the room receive you would expend less energy on heating systems. A house facing south will be cold and dark.
Illumination: an architect should work on the position and size of windows in the house. A dark bedroom for example won’t inspire you to get up in the morning, a bathroom without natural light will make you feel colder, a study room without enough light will make you sleepy and you will feel uninspired to work, read or study. Illumination is so important that I will write a whole post on it.
Sustainability: your architect should come up with options like solar heating systems, rain water collection, or a suggestion on different type of glass for windows to avoid heat escape. These ones are only a few examples of the many ways a house can be more sustainable, in recent years there are more and more options to use and explore.
You should expect your architect to come up with these or better solutions, but if he or she doesn’t you are on your right to demand what you think will be better for you, your family and your pocket. An architect is a problem solver too, to design a house is like solving a puzzle, how to combine what you like and need with how the site is, to make it functional, beautiful and with less environmental impact.
When I was growing up my room in my house was the one everyone wanted to be, my room has this huge window overlooking the city and facing north, it was so warm in winter I never needed a heater, in the morning it was very easy to wake up as just by opening the curtains the sun would shine bright on my face. My sisters room has big and many windows too, but was facing south, it was cold and never got the sun in the morning, she wanted to be in my room most of the time and only in the afternoon when the sun shone on her bedroom she enjoyed to be there.