Making smart choices early on in building your new home will help you create a comfortable home and enhance it’s resale value.
Step 1: Getting the temperature right
- Use natural sources of heating and cooling, such as the sun and cooling breezes to have on energy & lighting costs
- Optimise natural light. Plan living areas on the north side of the house, utilities on the western side
- Make the best use of eaves for winter and summer sun
- Use quality insulation in roof and walls for 20-40%* energy savings
- Choose a light colour roof for a cooler home
- Encourage cross ventilation and breezes
with multiple doors and windows
Step 2: Harvest the rain and sun
- Maximise the benefits of rainwater collection and stormwater runoff. Save up to 50% of your water bill by using recycled and tank water.
- Reduce energy costs by up to 80% with solar power.
- Talk to your builder about whether to choose an above or below ground tank.
- Use tank water for toilets and washing machines and in the garden.
- Save on energy by installing a north facing clothesline.
- Landscape to optimise stormwater runoff.
- Maximise natural light with skylights and windows.
Step 3: Reaching for the stars
Our top tips for managing your ongoing running costs and building a healthier home:
- Design a smart home that needs less heating and cooling
- For long term savings, look for a high energy rating on appliances
- Solar hot water is the most energy efficient
- Minimise use of air conditioning and cooling. Fans are the cheapest and most
energy efficient cooling option.
- An efficient fridge is critical because it’s always running
- If using air conditioning/heating, ducted reverse cycle systems are the most energy efficient air conditioners
- Continuous gas hot water is the most efficient after solar
- A high energy rating dishwasher saves power and water
- If you need a clothes dryer make sure it’s an efficient one.
- Follow these guidelines for the star ratings energyrating.gov.au/about/energy-rating-labels
Step 4: See the light
- Maximise natural light sources
- Use energy efficient light globes
- Plan for different lighting needs in different rooms
Step 5: A healthy home
- Choose low Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs) finishes
- Use cross ventilation to optimise airflow, reduce fumes and prevent damp
- Indoor plants can help remove pollutants and improve air quality
Step 6: A happy garden
You might like to think about attracting local fauna into your garden by choosing native species and creating little habitat areas.
- Use landscaping and plantings to your best advantage
- Attract local fauna by planting native species
- Help your garden and reduce waste by starting a compost heap or worm farm
- When choosing fencing consider safety, privacy, noise control, aesthetics and cost
- Remember to place some shade on your western walls and outdoor living areas.
- Deciduous trees and climbers can be great for summer shade, and still allow winter sun.
- Think about screening of AC units and waste storage, and remember to provide easy access for bin collection