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Green Homes With Homefab

SUSTAINABLE HOMES - 6 STARS REQUIRED -

AT HOMEFAB WE STRIVE FOR 8 STARS

What is a Sustainable Home?

A sustainable home is designed and built to minimise its impact on the environment and can respond to people’s changing lifestyles and circumstances. A sustainable house uses as little energy and water as possible and is, most importantly, a home where Queenslanders can live comfortably, in harmony with our unique Queensland climate. 

Queenslands Unique Climate and Regions

The climatic conditions across Queensland range from hot and humid in the far north, to
cool and temperate on the Darling Downs, to hot and arid in the west. Queensland rarely
experiences an extremely cold climate, making it an attractive place to live. It is important
to consider the climatic conditions of the area in which a home is to be built or renovated
so that the design can provide maximum comfort for occupants while minimising energy
running costs.
To assist owners in designing their homes for a region’s unique climatic conditions,
Queensland has been divided into four key climate zones: tropical, sub-tropical, hot arid
and warm temperate. To find out which region and climate zone your home is located in,
refer to the table below.


Key characteristics of each climate zone and region are contained in Table 1.
 

Zone 1 Tropical

Climate Description                 

 Hot humid summer, warm winter                                                                                       
Region Far North
Examples Tablelands Regional Council, Cairns Regional Council, Townsville City Council, Whitsunday Regional Council,
Zone 2 Sub Tropical 
Climate Description                       Warm Summer, Mild winter
Region Sub-tropical coastal
Examples Brisbane City Council, Sunshine Coast Regional council, Gold Coast City Council, Ipswich City Council, Scenic Rim Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council, Mackay Regional Council, Isaac Regional Council
Zone 3 Hot Arid 
Climate Description  Hot dry summer, warm winter
Region Western
Examples Longreach Regional Council, Mount Isa City Counil, Roma Regional Council, Murweh Shire Council, Charters Towers Regional Council, Central Highlands Regional Council, Dalby Regional Council
Zone 4 Warm Temperate 
Climate Description Warm Summer, Cool Winter
Region Darling Downs
Examples Toowoomba Regional Council, Burnett Regional Council, Southern Downs Regional Council

Building a Sustainable Home

It is a fact: our natural environment is straining to sustain our modern lifestyle. From March 2009, the law requires new houses in Queensland to be more sustainable, to be more energy efficient.  It is an  exciting step forward for the building industry and the environment.

Click here to view legislation of the proposed new changes

 

In order to keep you informed of these changes they are summarized below:
i. 4 star WELS rated toilets will be required in all new houses and Class 2 units and where additions are carried out to existing dwellings that include plumbing work.
ii. 80% energy efficient lighting to all fixed internal lighting in new houses and additions.
iii. Minimum 5 star energy rating using the performance standards of the BCA 2008 Volume 2.
iv. 3 star WELS rated tap ware for kitchen sinks, basins and laundry tubs.
v. Water efficient irrigations systems where installed (max flow rate of 9L/s).
vi. Minimum 4 star MEPS rated air conditioners from 1 July 2009

Although the 5 star provisions will apply after this date, in recognition of Queensland’s outdoor lifestyle, dwellings in climate zone 1 and 2 will be given up to 1 star credit where they are designed using the verification method (computer software) and have certain outdoor living areas as specified by MP4.1 of the QDC.

Click here to view Document MP 4.1  - Sustainable Buildings.

To view other Queensland Development Code Fact Sheets go to Department of Infrastructure and planning/queensland-development-code-fact-sheets or log on to Building Codes Queensland’s website http://www.dip.qld.gov.au

There are, however, many other ways to make your new house sustainable, which not only helps the environment, but will save you money in the long term. The most important criteria for passive house design for the tropical north Queensland region are outlined below.

 Design of Your Home

Orientation

It’s extremely important to design a home that takes advantage of sunlight to both illuminate and help regulate temperature in your home. Your home could be oriented differently from that of your neighbours, depending on your elevation, and geographical location.

You want to maximize sunlight and air circulation, so make sure your builder and architect take this into consideration when mapping out your habitat.

Control your energy use and Go with the flow

It’s almost impossible to separate the notions of energy efficiency and airflow in a sustainable home. New home builders want to know how they can reduce their burden and their expense.
Energy efficiency and air flow have become intertwined. Emphasize the design of the “building envelope” to make sure the right amount of insulation falls in the right places for a tightly built home. If your walls are well-insulated and your high-quality windows are aligned properly to allow air to circulate, you will already be cutting your energy bill considerably.
A well-designed and insulated home keeps the heater running less in the cold months and the air conditioning running less when it’s hot.

Steel framing is strong and allows for wide overhangs around your house, which are vital in Far North Queensland. Shading and tinted windows and glass doors is a must for east and west facing areas.

Insulation in the ceiling, roof and external walls is another effective tool to minimise heat transfer. Homefab includes the highest quality insulation in all our enclosed and complete kits.

Building Materials

The materials you use in the construction of your home is important. Light coloured roofs and walls will reflect more solar radiation away from the house, reducing heat gain within the house.

Insulation

Insulation is also an important factor in keeping your house cool in summer and warm in winter.

Septic Tank

  • Eco friendly and one that will put the gray water back into your gardens - there are many different varietys on the market today

Solar Power

  • Hot water systems and solar roof panels

Water-friendly Gardens

  • Make your gardens / plants hardy and durable for long dry Australian summers - no need for constant watering

Appliances

  • Efficient shower head, dual flush toilets,

Versatile
Steel framing suits both concrete slab and sub-floor construction, and is compatible with all interior floor, wall and ceiling lining materials. It is ideal for steeply sloping sites.

Electrically safe
Steel frames are earthed so that any electrical leakage – including lightning – is conducted safely to the ground. 

Ideal for investors
Steel house framing won’t burn, rot, shrink, warp or twist and it is safe from termites – just what you want for a long-term investment.

Safe from Termites
If you live in a termite-prone area – and that’s more likely than you might think – there is no risk of termite damage to your house frame if is made from steel.



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