Imagine a house with lots of windows, no doors, and a limited amount of full walls. That’s what an open plan house is. If you’ve ever stayed in a budget hotel you may have experienced something almost like open plan, where there are no solid walls between the bathroom and where you sleep. The whole idea of an open plan house is to allow each room to flow freely into the next.
But there’s a whole host of energy-saving benefits of an open plan house which often get forgotten about when debating the pros and cons of such a home. People will normally either love or hate the idea of an open plan house based on whether they enjoy their privacy or being open. This is often the main factor in a person’s decision, and they may not have considered the following five things which will help dramatically reduce their carbon footprint:
1. An open plan house allows more natural light in
With no closable or lockable doors, you won’t have to turn your lights on quite so early on in the evening. There will be plenty of light coming in from all the windows of the house for far longer than if you were closed off in one small room with one window. This’ll save on your electricity usage and therefore your home’s CO² output will be reduced.
2. Less heating is required
This is especially applicable if you live with several people who are all doing different things. You may need more powerful sources of heating to cover the larger areas of space, but you’ll need much less of them compared to having a radiator in every single room of a traditional home.
3. Less building materials are required
Because there are normally no internal walls apart from partial ones in an open plan house, there are less building materials needed to construct it. This will make the construction materials more available for other homes to be built with.
4. You can keep a closer eye on what your kids are up to
Not directly a green benefit, but an open plan house will allow you to keep a closer eye on your kids. This will mean they’re safe without you having to stop what you’re doing and go to another part of the house to check on them. Without suggesting that children aren’t trustworthy, when you’re not around they could be burning something toxic on your open fireplace or unnecessarily using up electricity by turning on lights and appliances that they’re not actually using.
5. It’ll be easier to install internal wall insulation
With fewer rooms and therefore fewer changes in interior design, it’ll be far quicker and simpler to get internal wall insulation fitted. One complaint regarding an open plan house is that they are worse at keeping the cold out because there is a larger space to maintain an even temperature in and fewer dividing walls. This can be improved majorly by fitting internal wall insulation all around the inside of your home. This is more achievable in an open plan house due to the smaller amount of obstacles such as varying wall materials and different styles of skirting boards, coving, and anything else attached to the wall.
For some open plan design ideas, check out this great collection.