Someone asked me recently what was needed to achieve a six-star rating for a single house. It’s easy!
If you follow these pointers, you will achieve six star and maybe more. Also, you will have a house that you really enjoy.
First of all, make sure that you get your orientation to the sun and wind spot on. No compromise. Location of deciduous trees and vines can also assist with sun control. Also get your indoor/outdoor spaces to relate effortlessly so that you can enjoy good times for most of the year.
I’m regularly asked about gas versus electricity and it seems that the pendulum is swinging away from gas. Not only does it burn fossil fuel but its cost is increasing. No longer is heating and cooling the entire house necessarily gold standard.
The low hanging fruit items are insulation, sealing gaps and double glazing. Double glazing is minimum standard and insulation is critical.
We recently reroofed our house and took the opportunity to really pack the installation into the roof cavity, ending up with R6.0, and did it make a difference! At the same time, we replaced our downlights with LEDs. Now we are also ready for solar panels.
A concrete slab really helps with insulation and thermal mass. Insulate your walls to R4.0 if possible and seal carefully between window frames and the walls. All external doors should be properly sealed.
With our garden we need to ask whether a lawn which requires lots of water is really appropriate in the Australian climate. Other surfaces work just as well or even better. Some of our planting might include fruit and vegetables.
Rainwater tanks contribute to star rating and can also help even out the cost of watering gardens and flushing toilets especially if the tank is closer to 10,000L. Solar hot water with electric boost lifts our star rating.
So, if you put all – or even some – of these things in place you will end up with a house that’s not only better in environmental terms, but one that’s also going to save you money – and who wouldn’t want that!