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Why Build a Sustainable Home?

>> Aug 24, 2011

If you have recently bought a piece of land and are planning to build a new home on it, you should think about how energy efficient it will be. With the proposed introduction of the carbon tax and residential building (mandatory disclosure) legislation imminent, it’s never been more important to consider household energy efficiency.

A lot of people think that energy efficiency is directly related to appliance choice. This is incorrect. The first step to a sustainable home is to design it so that it has a high thermal performance. And this is where home energy ratings come in.

Assessors use computer simulations to assess major aspects of the home, including its orientation and shading to determine what thermal performance it has. Thermal performance relates to how well a home can maintain a comfortable temperature year round. The idea being that if the house is designed to have a high thermal performance, it will require very little heating in winter and cooling in summer – leaving you to reap the ongoing savings.

To make sure your home is designed with thermal efficiency in mind, make sure you employ the services of an accredited home energy rating assessor in the design and planning phase of your new home. In analysing the current house plans, they will provide economic solutions to make the home more thermally efficient.

While various misinformed articles will have you believe that a sustainable home is extravagant and expensive, the reality is that thermal performance can be achieved with little or no additional cost. Plus, with the help of an assessor you can rest assured that your house plans will meet the minimum energy efficiency requirements as listed in the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

Designing your home to be energy efficient is only one step towards a more sustainable home. The next step is to fit it out with energy efficient appliances coupled with a more sustainable attitude in your household.

When purchasing appliances, you want to keep an eye out for those that rate highly on the energy consumption labeling. Having fitted-out your house with energy efficient appliances you need to review and update your contents insurance.

The next step is arguably the hardest and requires the household’s full cooperation. You need to change your lifestyle to adapt sustainable behaviours. Simple rules like, ‘turn lights off when you are not using them’ and ‘only wash with cold water’ are good first steps, others that have great returns on your back pocket are:

· Install a AAA showerhead – save up to $100 per annum.
· Get rid of that old second fridge – save up to $200
· Use energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs) – save up to $50.
· Switch off lights when you’re not in the room – save around $25.
· Don’t overheat or overcool rooms – save around $50.
· Close doors, cover windows, and seal draughts – save around $50.
· Wash clothes in cold water – save around $40.
· Use the clothesline instead of the dryer when the sun shines – save up to $40.
· Don’t leave appliances in standby mode – save up to $50.
· Don’t run your pool pump for too long – save up to $75.

Don’t leave energy efficiency until after you have sort a removalist and moved into your new home – incorporate it into your plans. If you decide to invest in renewable energies, it might be a good time to review and update your home insurance.
/image: 123rf.com/

2 komentar:

de engineur August 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM  

great to know & valuable info sharing.

for me, the idea of building a house such that heat from the rising sun in a tropical country does not directly face the house-front, can be a little tricky; more so with the limited space and orientation flexibility of the existing piece of land where i plan to build a house.

Nathan @Thermal Performance Assessor March 13, 2012 at 5:49 PM  

Have you ever been driving around a neighborhood and been amazed by the type and shape of some of the homes you have seen, Comments are,” wow that is beautiful”, “what a darling house that is”, “I would love a house like that”, etc. Have you ever taken the time to think about how well built the house may be, how well insulated, how efficient of a home it is. With the economic times being what they are we need to put more credence into how well that (your) home is built. Today when you build a home your stay in that home will be a lot longer, so energy costs are a major player in the cost of the dwelling.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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