There is a lot of conflicting information out there, and the sustainable building industry is in its relative infancy in Australia.
Unfortunately, while there are some useful sources out there, it is very hard for a newcomer to know which method is best for them. If you are a first time reader and never heard of us, at Emerald custom homes we are committed to build high quality sustainable homes in South Australia.
To help your understanding, this article will focus on the two of the more popular principles that apply to most sustainable building practices; Solar Gain and Passive housing.
This is the most commonly known principle of ‘Sustainable’ or ‘Eco’ Building. In short, it is best practice design, using primitive, or slightly improved Australian building materials and practices.The focus of this method is to capture the sun’s energy in winter with some internal thermal mass and shade the dwelling in summer. With this building method, during the winter, the internal thermal mass captures the Sun’s energy and slowly distributes it throughout the night, improving the nocturnal temperatures. While the focus in the summer is to shade the building to allow minimal direct sun into the home. This design principle can be easily adopted for Adelaide homes if constructed with right development partners.
Passive housing focuses on super insulating and sealing a dwelling.
By using best practice materials and construction method, it allows the owner greater freedom with their design and ensures the quality of the home. The Passive Housing Principle is essentially a well-insulated bubble – separating the indoor climate from the outdoor climate. It then focuses on making sure there are no ‘leaks’ or gaps in the building – making it essentially airtight. What this gives you as a homeowner is complete comfort, year round.
You may have frost on your lawn, but your house will still be room temperature.