Those Aussies don't only know how to play cricket, they have even got it right when it comes to achieving environmentally sustainable solutions for designing and building their homes and, making it easy for everyone to do it.
In the State of Victoria all new homes and buildings must achieve the 5-star level of energy efficiency. What makes a house a 5-star house?
There are several different ways to achieve this and the use of building materials, solar efficiency, window shading, design of the house, orientation, insulation, glazing as well as water-saving mechanisms are taken into account. You can read all about the 5-star house here.
Even the Australian government website has a whole suite called, Your Home, dedicated to encouraging the design, construction and renovation of homes to be comfortable and more environmentally sustainable. Crikey mate! It is a fantastic website and a joint initiative by the Australian government and home designers and builders. Our government could take a leaf or two from their book or should that be a bit or a byte from their website?
There is a technical design manual you can view online with every single bit of information you could ever hope to read about incorporating the principles of passive design including design for climate, passive solar heating, passive cooling, insulation, glazing, water use, materials use, energy use and site impact. You can read it here.
And what about this amazing south facing semi-detached residence on a 234 m2 block in New South Wales? This little beauty incorporates a range of innovative design principles including onsite rainwater storage for 9000 litres which is used for showers, baths and basins. A grey water treatment system with treated water for the loos and washing machine. A thermal chimney! Renewable materials and environmentally safe paints and floor oils. Look at this interesting terraced green wall. You can see more pics and read more about this home and the brief for it here.