28 Jun Tips for Designing and Building an Energy Efficient Home
When designing and building a new house, incorporating energy efficient features will not only make a huge difference in comfort and long-term cost savings, it will ensure you are building a sustainable home that is friendlier on the environment. At Elliott Hardie, we are award-winning Canberra home builders dedicated to providing high quality energy efficient solutions in residential design and construction. If you’re looking to build a new energy efficient house, there are plenty of design ideas you should consider.
Positioning your home correctly ensures it will take the best possible advantage of sun and shade throughout the year. You should consider orienting living areas and rooms you spend lots of time in to the north to catch sun and light for the longest part of the day, and positioning rooms where you’ll be spending less time in the south side of your home.
Construction Materials and Methods
Timber frames, structural insulated panels, insulated concrete formwork and cross laminated timber are some of the most efficient construction methods for ensuring a high level of airtightness and therefore energy efficiency in your home. Other materials such as bricks can have their airtightness levels boosted through the use of special tapes and membranes.
The more airtight your building, the more heat your home will retain in winter and more cool air it will retain in summer. This leads to a massive reduction in the energy your building will consume through heating and cooling. Insulating ceilings and walls with high quality insulation products will help maintain a more comfortable and efficient home all year round.
Windows and Glazing
Glass can be a very poor insulator with much of the heat from within the home transferring through quite quickly. Using double-glazing or triple-glazing will enhance your home’s heat retaining qualities. Also make sure that your windows and doors are airtight when closed, and reduce the number and size of windows on west and east walls and ensure the largest windows are north-facing.
LED should be your lighting of choice throughout your new home. The most energy efficient lighting on the market, not only do they minimize energy use, they provide exceptional light output, are extremely long lasting and contain no mercury. Selecting the right LED lights, positioning lights strategically, and utilizing natural light as effectively as possible can drastically reduce the energy consumption of your home.
High ceilings, wide hallways, and bi-fold or sliding stacker doors can provide more space for air to circulate. Installing doors and windows on both sides of the home will allow natural airflow, which can cool the house down faster.
In most homes, appliances and plug loads may account for up to 60% of energy usage, so selecting energy efficient appliances is essential. Energy-efficient appliances reduce a home’s energy use, emit less air pollution and can even increase the resale value of a home. Look at the energy star rating when selecting the appliances for your new home.
Installing renewable energy systems that harness naturally generated energy operate with low running costs and have the potential to reduce or eliminate electricity bills. Solar panels provide one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy for a home. They can power all the energy needs of a home including lighting, heating and cooling systems, appliances and hot water.
The ultimate goal of an energy-efficient home is to significantly lower energy usage on a daily basis and these are just some of the many ways you can increase energy efficiency in your new home.
If you are looking for Canberra home builders that have the experience and expertise in the essential design elements for an energy-efficient home, get in touch with the team at Elliott Hardie today. Contact us online now or call us on 0479 106 944.