A few cold, but sunny, days allowed our home to show off what it can do with sunlight. Light streaming through the large north facing windows quickly warmed the house in daytime. Solar panels produced more than enough electricity to supply our all-electric home's needs.
Hey, our development features in a video made by ARENA! They're using it to promote the environmental and financial benefits of including sustainability principles in the design and construction new houses.
During Unit 1 construction, the team showed that an offgrid power system could meet the electrical requirements for all but the most demanding users. Based on that experience, the system was reassembled to power Unit 2 and 3 construction.
Insulating the concrete slab edge reduces the heat lost from the thermal mass during winter. There are a variety of ways to install the insulation along with the termite barrier. After considering the likely cost/benefit, our design uses a garden bed to cover exposed concrete edges.
Using heat pump technology for both the reverse cycle air conditioner and the hot water system is an efficient way to meet those needs. Despite the warm weather, the air conditioner is yet to be fully tested as the passive cooling features in the house have kept this heat pump on standby duty.
Once the house was weatherproof, the focus shifted to interior work. Thoroughly insulating the walls and ceilings is a critical component of passive heating and cooling design. Putting plasterboard on the walls has clearly defined the rooms.
Double glazed windows were a non-negotiable item right from the start. Expert advice from organisations such as the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) clearly spelled out the insulation advantages. From a ...