Sustainable homes are those that minimise energy and water usage through innovative design and construction. A sustainable home also depends on residents undertaking behaviours that assist in reducing energy and water usage, as well as reduced waste.
View some energy saving tips [291KB].
Building an energy-efficient home will reduce ongoing energy costs. Passive design is the design that considers climate, building layout, insulation, thermal mass and ventilation and reduces the need for additional heating and cooling.
Sustainable construction tips:
- Orientation – North/east facing is ideal.
- Heating and Cooling – Solar hot water systems and solar panels are recommended. Good design can reduce your reliance on heating and cooling, by using natural ventilation and insulation. When purchasing whitegoods look for the most energy-efficient.
- Lighting – Sky lights and solar light tubes provide free natural light. Energy-saving lights such as CFLs or LEDs are preferable. CFLs use one fifth to one third less power than conventional lighting. With a standard halogen bulb lasting approximately 4000 hours and a standard LED light lasting approximately 50,000 hours, you’ll see energy savings of 75% to 90%. Paint rooms in pale colours so they need fewer lights.
- Roofing - In hot sunny conditions dark coloured roofs absorb heat making them very hot. This heat radiates through the roof material into the building below. Light coloured roofs deflect the heat back into the air, keeping the roof area and building below cooler.
- Construction Materials – Building materials that are non-toxic, renewable, recycled and sourced locally are preferable. Local salvage yards, second-hand shops, eBay and Gumtree are good sources of re-usable materials.
- Shading, Eaves and Glazing types – the local planning scheme, The Noosa Plan (for sustainability reasons) requires eaves to 75% of the perimeter of building to help shade walls from the sun and to provide general weather protection.
- Water – By installing efficient showerheads and appliances. Take shorter showers and install rainwater tanks for gardens and pool top-ups. These are all water-saving practices. Native plants are also a great option for local biodiversity, and they require little water.
- Smart Blocks is a national program helping apartment owners and body corporates improve the energy efficiency of common property in apartment buildings.
- The Your Home website is packed full of resources to help build, buy and renovate a more environmentally sustainable house that’s cheaper to run, healthier to live in and has less impact on the environment.