Colour Create Energy Efficient Interiors

energy efficient interior design

With the rapid growth of green interior design schemes, one oft-overlooked choice that can lead to a more energy-efficient space is that of colour specification.

The little-known green solution underscores the fact that interior designs schemes that have an energy efficient foundation can be easily achieved and often come at little or no extra expense.

It has already been well-documented that roof colour can strongly influence interior climes, with a study from Lawrence Berkeley laboratory explaining that roofs with reflective qualities, such as those in the colour white, can drastically reduce the costs associated with interior cooling by up to 23 per cent.

Other findings show that colour in interiors can save even further, often in ways that may not be immediately obvious.  In a study from the Environmental Protection Agency, a report found that 25 per cent of electricity costs in the United States are due to interior lighting.

In spaces painted with a darker colour palette, light is absorbed and reflects less, thereby creating a need for more extensive lighting. By contrast, lighter colours can reflect up to 80 per cent of light, maximising the light – natural or otherwise – in the space and allowing for a more efficient use of energy associated with artificial lights.

In addition to the energy that can be saved on lighting these colour-focused areas, climate control can also be influenced through palette choice.

Somewhat surprisingly, it is our own psychological interpretation of colours that plays a significant role in how we perceive climate and atmosphere in a given space as colour affects an individual’s perception of clime.

In studies noted by ‘Colour Matters’, test subjects who entered a room with cooler colours noted that they felt between six and 10 degrees Fahrenheit colder than the room’s base temperature while those who entered rooms with warmer colour palettes, including reds and oranges, those estimates shot up to six to 10 degrees warmer than the room’s base temperature.

That is not to suggest that it is simply a psychological thing. Rooms with a cooler colour palate will reflect heat, while those with a warmer colour palette will attract it.

Both the psychological and physical elements of these colour-based design tricks can be harnessed in order to create spaces that not only feel, but that physically are, climate-controlled without overuse, or use at all, of on-grid reliant heating and cooling means.

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