You are probably thinking all new homes are energy efficient right? Unfortunately the answer is no. Australia is well behind in terms of minimum building requirements for new homes to some other ‘extreme’ climates. There are places where things like double glazed windows are standard and have actually become cheaper than regular windows because of the economies of scale in production. There’s no reason why we can’t do that, but the good news is that we are improving and there are more people across Australia waking up to the fact that you don’t have to compromise in terms of beauty, functionality and cost when building a sustainable home.
So what is an energy efficient home? The concept of an energy efficient home is pretty simple – a home that uses less energy to run. The principles of energy efficient homes are also pretty basic; use smart orientation to take advantage of the warmth from the sun and cool from the breezes. Heavily insulate and seal gaps to provide a barrier to heat flow. Use natural resources to provide power (in our case that is mainly from the sun as wind is minimal). Lastly, heating and cooling chew up around 40% of energy use in the home, with proper orientation and insulation we can minimise the need for cooling in Canberra but most homes will still require heating which energy efficient heating/cooling, appliances and lighting important.
So now you know what an energy efficient home is, stay tuned as we go into more detail on the principles listed above. Cheers, Dennis.