Sustainability -

• A sustainable environment friendly and energy smart design must also have energy smart services and appliances, e.g. heating, cooling, hot water , lighting etc.

• Of course, householders should also use appropriate thermostat settings for heating/cooling systems and lighting. Closing doors and windows to heated areas, closing curtains when heating rooms, switching off appliances when they are not in use.

• A note of warning ! Temperature for refrigerators should be below 5˚ and freezers below -18˚. To keep refrigerators and freezers at higher temperatures means foods are not kept at an appropriate level for food safety.

• However, toss out those outdated beer fridges in the garage. They can chew up a lot of power.

• Good house design should always be energy smart. A sustainable well designed house can be up to 5˚warmer in winter and up to 10˚cooler in summer, making the home brighter and more comfortable to live in throughout the year.

• Energy smart design will mean substantial savings can be made on the running costs of heating, cooling and lighting.

• Many people think that higher building costs are associated with energy smart design. However, a building carefully designed along passive energy principles, such as correct orientation, room layout, appropriate sizing and placement of windows, advantages of natural ventilation, and, if possible, the use of heavy weight building materials to provide thermal mass, such as concrete slabs, does not necessarily equate to higher building costs which cannot be recouped in the saving of reduced running costs.

Energy Smart Design
It is vital that your project will be designed according to your wishes and within Planning Authorities' guidelines and is within your budget and is sustainable.

A sustainable building will not only make you more comfortable, it will also save you money and increases the value of your property. A Sustainable Energy smart house design: for example must have appropriate sitting, correctly orientated and sized windows, incorporation of thermal mass, correct levels of insulation, ventilation and draught proofing.

How sustainability was achieved in a renovation in the East of Melbourne:-
The client’s brief was to extend the living entertainment areas of their mud brick home and let in more light, improve thermal efficiency and outlook on the surrounding bush land.
The result was a new raised roof shaped to control the sun’s penetration without the use of curtains, create an internal mud brick curved wall to maintain temperature in conjunction with the solid brick floor, double glazing and extended mud brick external walls rendered to match the original.
The result was a house that even with sustained temperatures over a number of days over 34˚ maintains a temperature of 26.66˚ without using the back -up airconditioning. No mains water is available thus sufficient water tanks had to be installed to cope with all domestic needs and have sufficient water available for the sprinklers that were installed over the entire roof area in case of a bush fire.