What makes a sustainable home?
Modern houses are designed with the environment in mind. New homes will have a star rating to help you see how effective they are in terms of heating, cooling and general levels of comfort. The higher the star rating, the more energy efficient the design and the more likely you are to save on electricity and other bills.
Most new homes are around 5 stars, but you can improve that rating with the materials you use, the appliances you install and other design features as listed below.
Designed for our climate
Australia is made up of different climate zones, which makes sense as what would suit the tropics of the Northern Territory wouldn’t work in the cool climate of the Australian Capital Territory. So depending on where you live, there are guidelines as to what type of housing is best for the conditions. These guidelines cover things like insulation, heating and cooling standards, and specific rules around building in bushfire or flood-prone areas.
Efficient use of water
Saving water means more than dual-flush toilets and water efficient showerheads (though both are important). Sustainable design looks at how water is captured and used elsewhere on the site and may incorporate rainwater tanks or recycled water systems to really make the most of the water available. Garden design and landscaping also plays a role in how much water can be saved.
Smart heating and cooling
We spend a lot of money keeping cool in summer and staying warm in winter. Good insulation is one way to keep these bills down. Roof insulation acts as a barrier for heat coming from the sun while insulation in the walls helps regulate the temperature inside.
Appropriate orientation on your block of land and clever landscaping can also help make the most of breezes and natural light.
Energy saving features
Unless you plan to go completely off the grid, your electricity bill will be one of the biggest ongoing costs of running your house. A good chunk of this bill can be taken up by your hot water service, especially if you have a large family. So, consider choosing a solar hot water or gas hot water system instead.
Selecting the right appliances and fittings is an easy way to cut energy use. For example, there are many modern and stylish options for energy efficient lighting that use a fraction of the electricity of standard bulbs. Your interior designer can show you what’s available.
Rawson Homes are designed around a 6 star rating, but you can aim for a higher rating if you wish.