Colour Choice For Interiors? Focus on Green

green in focus

Painting the walls could change more than the interior design scheme of a building, with research suggesting that you can paint your home green. Not perhaps in the literal sense – although green is a trending fall colour – but in the metaphorical, with the colour choice of a space actually proving to improve or decrease the natural climate control efforts of building owners.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency in the US, 25% of electricity costs are associated with lighting needs. While LEDs and other such energy efficient lighting options can cut this cost, an innovative colour scheming method, which really is simply logic, can also achieve cost and carbon cutting outcomes.

Spaces painted in a dark palette (navy, maroon, brown etc) absorb light and reflect it less, cooling a very bright lit room, or sucking all of the light from a space that is not abundantly lit. However, when a room is painted in lighter, brighter colours, 80% of this light is reflected. Choosing a lighter shade for rooms that are lacking in natural light doesn’t add light to a space like artificial lighting, but it maximises the light entering the room from both natural and artificial sources.

color scheme

In doing so, energy is used more efficiency and such a heavy reliance on artificial lighting, particularly throughout the day, can be lessoned.

While lighting is a valid area where energy efficiency can be maximised through wall colour palette choice, perhaps even more noted is the effects of this on interior climate control. According to a study noted by ‘Colour Matters’  study participants noticed in rooms that were painted a cool palette, they felt six to 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the actual temperature, where as in rooms painted a warmer palette, participants noted that the room felt six to 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature.

That is a jump of 12 to 10 degrees in a room, simply due to colour choice. Now while many would be quick to point to reasonings of perceived interior temperature (we look at a pale colour, we associate it with a cold feeling and vise versa with red or orange), another reason for the heat difference is due to the factor that we mentioned earlier.

all color scheme

In addition to reflect light, lighter colours will also reflect heat, thus allowing for rooms to physically remain cooler. In the same token, as they suck in the light, darker, warmer colour palettes will also suck in heat enabling a space to remain warmer.

While painting a space white will not automatically make your cooling costs in summer disappear and the same can be said for red in terms of heating in winter. However, by implementing these small changes that work with natural sources of light, heat and cool, maximising them, rather than fighting against them, energy reliance can be lessoned and interior temperatures more easily sustainable off grid.

By Emily D’Alterio
© 2012 DesignBuild Source. All rights Reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited.