Between its functionality and its use as a leisure space, the kitchen is the heart of any home.
According to the American Institute of Architecture (AIA), even at a time when flexible living and open-plan layouts are beginning to take precedence, the kitchen still stands as a home’s central space.
A study by the AIA found that instead of such rooms losing their importance in the move toward flexible and open home layouts, kitchens have instead evolved to run as a multi-functional communal space.
Due to a kitchen’s importance to the home, green retrofits and a green design influence can be optimised in the room. Industry professionals have identified three major areas of focus when it comes to making kitchen space more environmentally responsible.
Structural design stands as a primary concern in retrofitting or newly building a green kitchen. Simple design techniques such as optimizing solar orientation and solar shading can lower the need for on-grid heating and cooling.
Ventilation is key in kitchen spaces, so a thorough use of operational windows, cross-ventilation or other non-energy reliant ventilation means can not only take further pressure off energy needs but also improve air quality and help manage interior temperatures.
Furnishing a kitchen space in green manner relies on many of the same tenets as greening any other space in a home. Low VOC materials are a must in lowering the environmental impact of the space and improving interior air quality. The inclusion of LED lighting also drastically reduces carbon output, which is particularly important in a space that is perhaps more reliant on lighting than any other room in a traditional home.
The kitchen can be among the most energy-consuming rooms in a house. Air conditioners, electric cooking, fridges, freezers, microwaves and more can cost a fortune to run and can be highly unsustainable in terms of resource use. This is where energy efficiency plays its largest role.
Simply changing out these appliances for Energy-Star rated counterparts can show drastic results, with the average energy-star rated dishwater 20 per cent more water efficient and 10 per cent more energy efficient than standard models.
Due to the high use of water and energy in this space, funneling dishwater to be used in outdoor irrigation and implementing renewable energy sources such as solar panels can cut reliance to on grid electricity and further reduce the space’s environmental impacts.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, so what better way to make an impact than by implementing these green changes?