Sunday 13th September 2009. Houses open between 10am and 4pm
Visit an open home on Sustainable House Day and go to www.livinggreener.gov.au to find out the practical and often easy steps you can take to reduce your impact on the environment as well as your energy and water bills.
There are eight climate zones for thermal design within Australia.
Canberra falls into the “Cool Temperate” Zone.
Low humidity, high diurnal range.
Four distinct seasons. Summer and winter exceed human comfort range, variable spring and autumn conditions.
Cold to very cold winters with majority of rainfall. Hot dry summers.
Recommended use of these passive solar principles.
High thermal mass is strongly recommended. Insulate thermal mass including slab edges. Maximise north facing walls and glazing, especially in living areas with passive solar access. Minimise east, west and south facing glazing. Use adjustable shading. Use double glazing, insulating frames and/or heavy drapes with sealed pelmets to insulate glass in winter. Minimise external wall areas (especially east and west). Use cross ventilation and night time cooling in summer. Site new homes for solar access, exposure to cooling breezes and protection from cold winds. Draught seal thoroughly and provide airlocks to entries. Install auxiliary heating in extreme climates. Use renewable energy sources. Use reflective insulation to keep out heat in summer. Use bulk insulation to keep heat in during winter. Bulk insulate walls, ceilings and exposed floors.
Design and siting are crucial to building an energy efficient home in the Canberra region. By making use of our clear, sunny winter days and relatively cool summer nights it is possible to build a comfortable home that does not require active sources of heating and cooling.In wintertime this means maximising north facing window areas to allow the sun’s energy (warmth) into your home. This energy must then be stored in internal thermal mass such as a concrete slab floor or areas of internal brickwork. The stored energy needs to be retained through the use of good insulation in the external walls and ceilings.
In summertime this means minimising the effect of the hot summer sun through use of roof overhang to shade windows. West facing windows should be minimised and well shaded and external walls and ceilings need to be well insulated. Cooling the home’s internal thermal mass overnight through good cross-ventilation helps to keep the interior cool the following day.
Using these simple criteria will keep a house warm in winter (15-25°C) and cool in summer (20-28°C) without the need for heating or air conditioning.
Today there are also many new appliances and fittings available that will enhance the energy efficiency of your home such as solar hot water systems, water efficient fittings and back to grid solar panels.
Visit the gallery of homes we have built here in Canberra.