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If you're building a new home, it's important to factor in sustainable design. The good news is, you don't need a PHD in environmental science to make smart changes to your home and increase efficiency...

Synergy has recently partnered with environmental scientist Dr Josh Byrne on a research project called Living Labs.

Living Labs encouraged 10 suburban families to reduce their environmental footprint in some way or another, be it with solar panels on the roof, water tanks collecting rain or low energy lighting and appliances.

 

Josh Byrne is no stranger to the land of efficiency; in fact he himself took on the challenge to design and construct two 10 star NatHERS energy efficient family homes in the Fremantle suburb of Hilton.

 

Tired of hearing that sustainable construction has to cost more, Josh and his colleagues set out to prove that resource efficient homes can be built at a comparable cost and timeframe to regular houses.

 

Thanks to the now celebrated Josh’s House project, we have a solid understanding of what to consider when looking at building a sustainable and efficient family home.  Check out these tips to see what you should consider when building and designing an efficient home.

 

Sustainable ways to design you home

Solar energy

Australia is blessed with abundant sunshine so it makes sense that we design our homes to maximise the benefits of this incredible resource. At Josh’s House, solar energy is being utilised in a number of ways, including providing natural heating and lighting, hot water and electricity. Read more.

 

Residential solar energy storage (Batteries)

In Australia more than 1.4 million households have rooftop solar panels, with double digit growth every year. In Perth one in five homes has solar power. Combined they equate to the biggest source of power generation in the state. The problem is solar power is only available when the sun is shining. That’s where solar energy storage comes in. Read more.

 

 

 

Reducing waste

Nationwide, WA produces the most waste per person and recycles the least. Over half of all the waste produced in WA comes from the construction and demolition industry, amounting to over four million tonnes per year and most of this ends up in landfill. Read more.

 

Window glazing

Window location and glazing type play a key role in the thermal performance of a home. If positioned thoughtfully, windows can help keep a house warm in winter and cool in summer. Unfortunately in most buildings, window placement is often poorly thought out, resulting in unwanted heat gain in summer and significant heat loss in winter. Read more

 

Window furnishings

When it comes to the thermal performance of your home, window treatments are probably one of the most neglected and underrated part of the building process. Up to 40% of home heating and cooling energy is lost via the windows. Read more

 

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