West Coast Sustainability can help you design and build your new green home and provide you with sustainable energy and water solutions or just help you with the latest information on energy efficient materials. You don´t have to be a greenie to live in a green home. A sustainable home will help you save money by reducing energy and water use, protecting you from rising energy prices , whilst providing the same level of comfort you would expect from a modern home. At the same time reducing your impact on the environment, helping you sleep better at night.
Passive Solar Design
When choosing your new block of land the most important consideration is orientation. The ideal block will have the short ends face east and west and the long sides facing north and south. In Geraldton, good orientation means maximizing the north sun and southerly winds. This means that in winter the sun, which is low in the north sky, will shine through the windows, heating the air and floor and reducing the need for heating. In summer the sun is overhead in the middle of the day and will not shine through the north windows. However, it will shine on the east and west of the building, heating the walls and heating through glass in these areas, so minimising the east and west exposure is an important consideration for keeping the house cool throughout Geraldton´s long summers. Shading from trees and bushes on the east and west can help keep temperatures down along with large eaves and double glazing.
In winter the northern part of the house will be warmer so, to take advantage of this, daytime living areas should be located on this side. Bedrooms and bathrooms, where people spend less time during the day, should be located along the southern side. Following these simple guidelines will result in significant energy savings for heating and cooling.
Embedded Energy and Energy Use
Building a traditional double brick house requires a lot of energy to produce the materials. Tiles, bricks and aluminium windows all involve very energy intensive production processes. Tiles and bricks are also very heavy, so more energy is used to transport the materials to site. Building with such materials is also very labour intensive, so even more energy is used. Finally, the completed building has poor insulation ratings and therefore requires a large heating and cooling system to keep it comfortable in summer and winter. Such buildings are rated 8 out of 10 for their production of greenhouse gasses and tend to have low energy ratings of between 3 and 5 stars .
Compare this with a sustainably designed home built from sustainable materials with a light weight construction method, similar to those used overseas for decades. Using sustainable plantation timbers and cladding materials, timber framed, double glazed windows and a Colorbond roof would be rated 3.5 out of 10 for greenhouse gas emissions and would have a very high energy rating .
It´s easy to see which option makes more sense.
If you want to build a more energy efficient and sustainable home, get in touch with us. We can manage your project from the first stage design through to handover, ensuring that all aspects of sustainable design are taken into consideration and enabling you to get it right the first time.
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