How to build a sustainable & Eco Friendly house?

by | Mar 9, 2021 | ultimate guide

An environmentally sustainable home is an excellent long-term investment. By building with foresight, you are not only investing in the future of the planet, but also in yourself. In this guide, we will discuss how you can make your new home as green as possible. Let’s see how we can reduce, reuse and recycle with a home build!

Passive Heating and Cooling

If you live in the Sunshine State, you’re familiar with the classic “Queenslander”. High floors and plenty of airflow underneath keep residents cool. But what if you want to let the breeze flow through a more modern design? In Brisbane’s humid climate, you’ll need to know a bit about passive cooling in particular:

Geographic Orientation: Facing North or South

Homes with windows that face south let in less light. This keeps cooling costs to a minimum under the blazing Australian sun. Alternatively, north-facing windows will help warm up your home in winter. In Queensland, you may consider a north-facing position if working with limited amounts of light (maybe your home will be in a cool, shady location).

How the sun moves across the sky in the Southern Hemisphere.

Eaves and Windows

As you can see in this diagram, eaves provide essential shade for your windows. Most builders won’t allow you to change the size of your eaves very much. Instead, it is more common to adjust window size. As you can see in the following diagram, your sustainable home’s windows must be a certain height off the ground to stop too much sun coming in!

Build a Green House, NOT a Greenhouse: Ventilation Solutions

Big windows kill claustrophobia and provide panoramic views of your home’s surroundings. However, if you’re letting natural light in, you need to consider ventilation carefully. Here are some building techniques used to combat a build-up of heat and humidity:

Open Subfloors

Your house doesn’t have to look like a “Queenslander” to retain the benefits of an open subfloor. If your home design has an open subfloor, vents can be positioned to keep cool air moving through the underside. It’s advisable to speak with your builder about whether this strategy is appropriate for your sustainable home.

An open, ventilated subfloor

The Right Kind of Roofing

The darker your roof, the more light energy it will absorb and the warmer your home will become. Builders in Queensland’s hot climate typically keep colours light in order to reflect the sun’s rays. Colourbond steel roofs will also do a better job of bouncing heat energy up and away. Leeward openings, fly roofs and whirlybirds are other useful ways of moving hot air outside. The shape of your roof will determine which strategy you can use.

Solar Panels

Power costs are slashed by solar panels. Nowadays, if you purchase a 6.6kW set of solar panels, you could easily reduce your power bills by 75%! (nationalgridsupport.com.au).

Solar panels should be positioned to catch optimum amounts of sun.

How to get Free Water

Brisbane receives lots of summer rain, so many residents have a water tank out the back. The bigger your tank, the more money you will save in the long term. What’s the catch? Water tanks are massive. Think about how much space you are willing to sacrifice for clean, fresh rainwater. It’s also useful to install an accompanying water filter. Rainwater tanks won’t remain clean forever, and you want to keep your family safe and healthy in the months leading up to a professional tank clean.

Building Sustainably?

If you’re thinking of making your new home a sustainable one, you’re not alone! A recent study by Ben King & Taylor Blackburn found the majority of Queensland residents think it’s important to consider sustainability before making a purchase. If you’re in the market for a new sustainable home in the wider Brisbane area, call Buildi today! We’ll take the hassle out of your eco-friendly build.

Saving Money on Eco-Friendly Infrastructure

Calculating the costs and savings incurred by sustainable building will require some foresight. It’s useful to compare prices and returns on your investment for many years in the future. Buy the best technology for your sustainable home to stay ahead of the curve!

Sustainable Home Batteries

Solar panels will only harness power while the sun is shining. Unfortunately, residents use most of their power at night. To make the most of the sunshine on your roof, think about buying a solar battery. Lithium-Ion batteries currently last the longest. Although they are pricey, they will provide a better return on investment after a few years of power storage.

Air Conditioning

Modern homes often come equipped with energy efficient air conditioning and a smart thermostat. It’s very useful if your builder knows how much space a particular air conditioning system is able to heat or cool. They should also be able to tell you whether ducted or split-system air conditioning will use less power in your sustainable home.

How will climate affect my Sustainabile Home?

The seasons will have an important affect on the amount of energy your home uses:

  • The temperature in Southeast Queensland is predicted by the QLD Government to rise 2.6°C by 2070 (www.qld.gov.au).
  • Last year, Sarah Chapman (PhD) published a peer-reviewed study on climate change in Brisbane in the International Journal of Climatology. She warns outdoor activities during summer could become nearly impossible in 30 years. (www.abc.net.au).

What Government Benefits do I get for Being Sustainable?

Brisbane Green Buildings Incentive Policy

The government pays back half of infrastructure charges (paid for council networks) to buildings that meet the criteria on this website: www.brisbane.qld.gov.au.

Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

Homeowners that install small scale renewable energy systems (solar, wind or hydro), or appropriate hot water systems, may be eligible for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). This means you could save money on the installation of your renewable energy system with what’s known as a small-scale technology certificate (STC) (www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au). According to Solarquotes, a 6.6kW solar system generally costs around $9,500. A typical STC could reduce this to around $6,000. That roughly translates to a $3,500 discount off the price of your new sustainable home (www.solarquotes.com.au).

Sustainable Building Materials

Recycled metal. Precast concrete slabs. Bamboo instead of hard wood. These are all ways to save money on the bones of your home. According to Mike Schoenecker from Winkelman Building Corp, paying for green materials upfront could see you regain many times as much money in the future (www.environmentalleader.com). This is because renewable resources are often recycled and cheaper to produce. You’re bound to make some repairs to your home at some point in the future, which will amplify your savings! Make sure you’re buying materials that are energy efficient in the long term.

Sealed Sustainable Homes

Top-of-the-line, zero dust homes are like electric cars 15 years ago: The concept is proven, but there is not enough demand to normalise prices. These houses are completely sealed from top to bottom! Outside air is passed through fine filters as well as a heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system before being allowed inside. As an added bonus, a sealed home will force any unwanted creepy crawlies to queue up at your front door. The boy in the bubble was just the beginning.

From: https://homeenergysaver.ning.com/profiles/blogs/when-to-diy-when-to-call-an-hvac-professional?xg_source=msg_appr_blogpost


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration

Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration