Planning to build a new home or renovate your existing home is a big project with many possibilities. The Australian Government’s www.YourHome.gov website provides detailed information about designing, constructing and renovating comfortable, healthy and environmentally sustainable homes.
For a home to be energy efficient, it needs to have the right elements of design, which you should consider from the beginning of your planning. For the best result, choose a home designer and/or builder who has a good understanding of energy efficient design principles and can help you with your planning.
Whether you’re building a new home or renovating your existing one, Australia has minimum energy efficiency requirements for new homes and extensions that you must meet.
If you’re building a new home, choose a building site that meets your current and future lifestyle needs and allows you to make the most of its natural climatic attributes, eg solar access, breezes, vegetation or privacy. Find out if the local council has any planning controls that determine what you can and can’t do.
If you are renovating, you can improve the liveability and sustainability of your home by improving thermal comfort, and energy and water efficiency.
Consider the orientation and layout of the building on the block to increase its energy efficiency. Making use of passive heating, cooling, light and shading can make your home more comfortable to live in and cheaper to run.
If you’d like to see how other people have built or renovated energy efficient homes, Sustainable House Day is an annual event showcasing sustainable homes around Australia. You can visit a range of homes to see how sustainability principles can be incorporated and speak to the owners about their experience building and living in energy efficient properties.
Use a licensed tradesperson
For your safety, always use licensed tradespeople for building, electrical, gas and plumbing work. Search the licensing public register to find a licence holder or to check if a person or company is licensed to undertake work or provide a service to you.