It is every architect’s dream today to design Eco-friendly dwellings and commercial structures. Many of us have no hesitation to spend extra to build or purchase an Eco- friendly, energy efficient house. An Eco home is not just about having solar panels on the roof top, a rain water collection tank, and thick insulation to cut down air conditioning load or not having air conditioning at all. It is also about having more natural lighting, fresh and clean air to breathe, comfort at any time of the day with no internal or external fumes or smells. Every space in the house plays a vital role to make your house ultimately “Green”.
A kitchen for the eco-friendly house:
A kitchen needs to have storage space for tools and equipment and most importantly bench top space for cooking and food preparation. Kitchen bench tops will give a beautiful look and convenient working space to suit your Eco-friendly, Green house. Both your family and visitors will be delighted to see a kitchen that will also make you proud of.
Designing the Kitchen;
Generally anyone with a plan to build or renovate their kitchen would have to spend a considerable time going through Kitchen manuals, Internet resources, catalogues and visiting exhibitions before finally deciding on the layout .They may have to visit displays or kitchen builders to get more ideas. As a kitchen in any household is part of communal living, finally a discussion with your family members before finalising the design will ensure that the ultimate end product is pleasing to the whole family. Once you have a better picture of your requirements, you will then be capable of communicating it to an architect who is then able to translate it into several sketches. It is not an exaggeration to say that designing a kitchen most often takes the longest time when building or renovating.
The layout of the kitchen:
It starts from where you want to locate the kitchen in the house plan. Some like it to be right at the back of the house, some would like the kitchen to be separated from the main living areas but most of the modern housing designs are based on open plan living which means the kitchen is incorporated in to the rest of the living space. The decision of what the layout should be is more complex and challenging with an eco-friendly property. No toxic fumes, no smells, Low energy consuming, most suitable lighting with more natural lighting, good ventilation, low noise, optimum water consumption, safe, maximum usage of space is some of the important factors to be taken into consideration.
Selecting Kitchen bench tops:
There is wide range of materials to choose from if you’re in the market for buying kitchen benchtops. What main features should you look for? Apart from being attractive to the eye with a modern look, it is important to make sure it is free of materials that emit toxic fumes or chemicals such as formaldehydes or volatile chemicals. Ease of cleaning and maintenance, cost efficiency and durability are also imperative.
Commonly available materials;
- Stone or granite
- Solid surface
- Stainless steel
- Plastic laminates
- Solid glass
- Cement and /or concrete
- Composite material
Each material type has its merits and demerits. The final decision is often a matter of personal choice and opinion. Both Timber and ceramic tiles have lost its appeal to consumers over the years due to high maintenance involved with such products. Stainless Steel is still very popular especially in commercial establishments mostly due to its high food safety qualities. Granite and stone have become more accessible and common as the costs involved of using such material has reduced considerably over the years. It is however solid surface kitchen benchtops that has increased in popularity over the years due to some of its great qualities such as
- Flexibility to incorporate it into any design, shape or form desired
- Ease of maintenance and if damaged easy to repair
- Non porous and bacteria resistant surface which makes it one of the most hygienic options for a kitchen
- Wide choice of contemporary styles and colour options available
These features would make a kitchen made from solid surface material a proud addition to any eco-friendly home increasing your home’s appeal and ultimately its value.