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Sustainable House Designs - Knockdown Rebuild Northern Beaches

Your Opportunity to Build With Energy Efficiency & Sustainability in Mind

So, you have made the decision to knock down and rebuild on the northern beaches and now the design ideas are flowing. One of the key points to consider, at this very critical design phase, is how to build an energy-efficient home.

As a Master Builders Green Living Builder, Peninsula Homes is passionate about sustainable house designs and how intrinsic measures can positively affect your lifestyle. Carefully considered passive design principles not only make your home more comfortable all year round but can save energy, water and money. With heating and cooling consuming approximately 60% of the average energy consumption in a home, incorporating sustainability measures can see marked reductions in your energy bills and minimise our environmental footprint.

Principles We Consider in Our Energy-Efficient Designs

Orientation

Whilst we can’t always choose the perfect north facing block to build a home, there are many elements we incorporate to ensure the home is orientated correctly on the block to bring about the best possible living conditions. As much as possible, we aim to ensure the main living areas face north to ensure the warmth and light from the winter sun can permeate the new home.  Avoiding or minimising west-facing windows will lessen the impact of the harsh summer afternoon sun. The use of custom-sized full-depth eaves is a common practice on our knockdown and rebuild projects along with sun-shading structures such as screens.

Glazing

The approach to glazing is key in maximising cross-flow ventilation and light into the home, ensuring comfort all year round. Positioning and sizing of windows to harness air and light can comprise a combination of louvres, highlight windows and light voids. Such combinations work to capture breezes, allow rising heat to escape and increase light to the building. In recent years, double glazing has become more affordable and being superior in the reduction of heat loss and heat gain, may well be worth considering when building a new and energy-efficient home.

Insulation

An area that should never be overlooked is insulation. This one-off cost will continue providing benefit to your new home for the life of your home. And it’s not just the ceiling that we insulate. When insulation is installed not only in the ceiling but the walls and floors, it not only makes for an extremely comfortable living environment but it has acoustic properties as well, making the transfer of noise between rooms whisper quiet. And, properly laid insulation can positively impact the runnings costs to your home.

Lighting

Lighting is often a considerable way into the building process when electrical layouts are being discussed. However, we consider the approach to lighting very early on in the design phase as essential. Our designs are such that the living areas, kitchen, and bedrooms have little or no need for artificial lighting during the day and, where lighting is specified, we source the most energy-efficient lighting we can.

Creating Zones

Whilst there is a trend to open-plan living, one way that can reduce energy costs is to create zones in your home; areas where doors can be closed off so only the rooms being used can be heated and cooled. When air-conditioning is used in our knockdown and rebuild projects, we specify multi-zoned systems, providing full flexibility to turn it on or off in the rooms being occupied.

Solar Power

Who would not want to be able to generate renewable energy and reduce electricity bills? The benefits of solar panels are constantly advancing and improving and whilst there is the cost in the initial outlay, this developing technology will continue to drive costs down in the future. A properly specified and installed solar panel and storage battery system can be so efficient that we have many instances where it has met our client’s complete power requirements in their home.

The benefit of being able to consider some or all of the above efficiencies into your knockdown and rebuild design can have a profound and positive effect on many levels. Sustainably, we can reduce energy and water consumption, lessen waste, increase our homes’ comfort and health all while being able to live more harmoniously with our natural environment.

If you would like to talk to Peninsula Homes about the prospect of building an energy-efficient and sustainable home, please contact us via the ‘Contact Us’ page.