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  • Michael Clarke

Green Home


With a lot of residential construction going on & showing no real signs of abating, it’s worthwhile discussing this. There is an element of building that Government bodies & the public alike are embracing, in both new & renovated homes. That being, how to make your home more environmentally friendly? It basically comes down to ‘’energy’’ use . The Department of Environment breaks down the usage within the home as follows:-

  • Cooling / Heating 40%

  • Electrical appliances 33%

  • Hot water 21%

  • Lighting 6%

So in looking at the above here’s some trigger tips to make the home more environmentally friendly:-

Design

  • Using thermal mass to store the suns heat for night time warmth

  • Locating window & door openings correctly for ventilation & heating / cooling

  • Sealing up openings that create draughts

  • Using plants & awnings as appropriate screening

(see – www.yourhome.gov.au/passive-design/glazing)

Electricity

  • Using intelligent / master power boards to cut mains power supply rather than having appliances on standby mode can save up to 10% on annual electricity bills. New homes can have master switches installed into power systems.

  • Be careful when purchasing appliances , looking at energy star rating levels

Hot Water

  • Consider the various options of solar , electricity, heat pumps, natural gas etc.

  • Photovoltaic (solar) panels explore the use of a home battery system which can store solar generated power.

Water

  • Consider installation of rainwater tanks & grey water recycling

  • Diversion switches can be installed to send ‘’grey’’ water from sinks & showers to use on gardens & lawns , resulting in significant savings in water usage . Some figures touted at 30% plus .

  • Rainwater tanks can be plumbed in to supply to laundry & toilet cisterns (see - http://tankulator.ata.org.au)

Garden

  • Planting native plants , reducing water requirements & attracts wild life

  • Indoor plants can remove toxicity inside the home built up through use of benzene , formaldehyde & other such toxic chemical agents.

  • Growing herbs & vegetables in window boxes etc , which can have similar effects to point (2) above.

Building Materials

  • Choose sustainable insulation materials, essential to an energy efficient home.

  • Solar coating materials using the photovoltaic technology (see – www.ecospecifier.com.au)

Finally for more info on green rebates go to www.yourenergysavings.gov.au/rebates

Happy building!


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