Summer is officially here – and for those of us in California, it’s a time when we want to enjoy the great outdoors more than ever. Spending time outside is the perfect way to get fresh air, exercise, and improve mental health. However, with physical distancing measures still in place, many are looking to their own backyards for comfort, distraction and a connection to nature without straying too far from home.
Even before the days of COVID-19, outdoor environments have always been a top priority for homeowners. Research from the National Association of Home Builders and Better Homes & Gardens discovered that homeowners’ desire for outdoor amenities has held consistently strong and increasingly specific. People want to do things like crafting, reading and relaxing outside, and over three-fourths of millennials wish to have outdoor space – with things like vegetable gardens, fences, and private decks topping their list. In light of recent stay-at-home orders, these outdoor escapes are becoming even more important.
At Clarum, we encourage our clients to think about their outdoor spaces throughout the custom homebuilding process so that they are an integrated extension of their indoor living space. The right design will turn your outside areas into an oasis that’s so comfortable, inviting, and relaxing, you’ll never want to leave (even once you’re allowed to)!
Like everything we do, the high performance concept extends beyond the confines of a construction project.
When planning the construction of your modern home, it’s important to think about how to extend your living space outdoors. A modern custom home builds transitional and outdoor living spaces right into the home design, both public and private. When choosing what types of outdoor living you want with your custom home, you should start with the idea of function, then add fantasy to make it personal – would you like a meditation or yoga space? A place to grow food? A place to swim?
With a well-planned strategy and arrangement, high performance landscaping can harness the beauty of your natural landscape to create a unique and integrated aesthetic for your custom home.
In addition to the integration of beautiful outdoor and indoor spaces, passive home builders have long known that the built environment should work in harmony with the surrounding terrain. Passive and extremely high-performance homebuilding considers the entire impact of the home on the landscape, including the reverse – the effect of the landscape on the home.
You may have heard of high performance landscaping – a set of landscaping practices focused on water conservation and native plant species. As with your custom home, the high performance landscaping process requires significant expertise for effective strategy, planning, and implementation.
Pre-planning for home placement, landscaping, and water management are essential for passive heating and cooling and stormwater collection. From the home’s position on the property to the selection and placement of appropriate trees and other outdoor elements, a high-performance home is designed to reduce environmental impact and prioritize energy conservation from the start.
A passive house also works with the surrounding nature. The truth is, your yard, your gardens, and the overall landscape that cradles your house can have a huge impact on the sustainability of your custom home. And high performance landscaping can create huge benefits for more than the environment – it helps you spend less money and less effort on a gorgeous, natural aesthetic.
As part of a move to low water landscaping, Californians are already riding the trend of utilizing local plant species and creating more natural, climate-sensitive yards. Drought-tolerant and native Californian plants have the additional benefit of supporting area wildlife through natural habitat creation.
Fortunately, there are no rules about what a high performance landscape is “supposed to look like.” Working with the land around your custom home, your high performance landscaping team can create anything from a minimalist, desert-inspired rock garden, to lush greenery atop rich soil.
By working with (as opposed to against) the demands of your home’s natural landscape, you’re placing yourself on the winning side of a battle that costs many homeowners significant amounts of time, money, and resources.
Having to spend more and more time at home isn’t always easy. By carefully designing your outdoor living areas, you can plan for both today and tomorrow – create pleasing spaces that are perfect for the immediate future (and relaxing on your own), but also for the day that you can once again entertain friends and family. Because you deserve your dream home, inside and out.
Want to learn how Clarum can bring a new level of sustainable beauty to your custom home building project with high performance landscaping? Give us a call at 650.322.7069.