Just Flick The Switch…
For most of us that live in the more temperate and cooler latitudes of Australia, roughly south of Port Macquarie, a high energy expense goes towards conditioning our home. We heat in wintertime, and then in the warmer latitudes, get cooling going in summer.
For allot of us, we have been conditioned to accept this thinking and that air conditioning is the answer. And that air conditioning’s convenience is what we need to counter the extremes of temperature we experience inside our homes.
Living In A Legacy
However, for many homeowners, there seems to be little awareness of the value of applying smart energy efficient design to their homes.
While each wave of new homes showcases fashion’s edge, much of what I see still fails to even consider basic energy design principles. The perpetual disregard of available natural resources and/or magnifying their negative effects is shameful.
Compounding this, many of Australia’s older homes have the added disability of poor material choice and a lack of insulation – the bar of cheap housing appears to have been set too low.
The unnecessary heating & cooling costs to unknowing home owners would be in the tens of millions each year. And it’s been unregulated for decades.
A New Way Forward
Now you might think “hang on, this guy’s a builder, why is he criticising the air conditioning?…aren’t components like these automatically installed on jobs? And isn’t that good for the economy?”.
I still charge a fee for the service we provide – homes still need improvements, and alterations and additions to cater for home owners needs. Also I have nothing against air conditioning, I use it (carefully) in our own home. When considered, it might be the right choice for you.
What I am saying is by applying better building design before you build, and incorporating the readily available (and free) natural resources – the sun, wind, water, trees etc, you can enjoy greater levels of permanent living comfort year round. And at the same time you can naturally reduce your energy costs and demand on the grid. You might still have an air conditioner but find you use it a whole lot less.
A Solid Choice
So much energy and cost goes in the building of homes and it’s an expensive and lengthy process to rectify once built, if that’s even feasible. This investment would be better spent on thoughtful initial design and subsequent careful construction, like what BFL does. And it does not have to cost the earth (haha! a pun…). It just takes a bit less rush, a shift in thinking and a vision for a better, longer lasting future.
Note: a front end designed energy efficient home could easily satisfy Basix and NatHERS requirements without the need for a stick ‘approach’. Note also, energy efficient design has been used for centuries in various countries around the world so it’s not a new concept but it is a proven one.
I was first introduced to the idea of incorporating natural energy efficient building design in the 80’s. It’s been with me ever since and I see now, more than ever the value of this information and encouraging home owners to consider the benefits before they build.