Finishing the walls and floors in our second home made a significant difference to the internal appearance. Polishing the reclaimed floorboards and concrete slab brought out the character of both surfaces. Plastering the walls highlighted the distinctive shapes and angles in the rooms.
While the indoor temperature felt comfortable during hot summer days, I was left with the nagging feeling that wishful thinking was keeping me cool. Passive solar design should minimise the need for mechanical cooling for everything but a run of very hot days. Temperature monitoring data confirmed this is the case for our design.
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.
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.