Solar Power – No North Facing Roof

Retirement Solar

Conventional wisdom has been that you needed a North facing roof to mount your solar panels . . . . . . but it might be time to re-think!

Cost of Panels

In the early 1990 when people first really started looking at solar power for the home the cost of pv panel alone [read more...]

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Build A Sustainable House & Save Money

House shapes

When the stricter energy standards came in the big builders all complained that it would make houses more expensive.

Well a recent CSIRO report The Evaluation of the 5-Star Energy Efficiency Standard for Residential Buildings has found it can actually be cheaper to build a sustainable house.

Here are three reasons why a more sustainable [read more...]

Seaweed House

Seaweed-House

What do you think of this house?

Roof look a little unusual?

Well the roof, and the walls, are built using seeweed!

The seeweed provides a long lasting external surface, which as well as being a natural renewable resource, has great insulation values.

To find out more, with lots of pictures of [read more...]

Bushfire Reserve – Volume

Bushfire spray

I have previously talked about Bushfire reserve supplies. . . . But how much?

I see various minimum water volumes put forward for bush fire reserves. For example in early 2014 the following applied.

Victoria, regulations for new builds require 10,000Litres. South Australia the country fire service suggests 22,000Litres.

Just because there is a minimum [read more...]

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Thermal Mass for Heating

If you read up about energy efficiency you will come across the expression ‘Thermal Mass’ . . . . . . but what is it? . . . . . and how does it work?

Materials with Thermal Mass

The most common materials with Thermal Mass in new houses are; Concrete, Stone, Slate, Tiles and [read more...]

Rendered Foam Walls

Foam rendered walls

Rendered Foam walls are becoming much more common, particularly in the upper floor of 2 storey homes. They offer a real advantage in situations where it would be difficult to provide adequate suppport for a heavy brick wall (For example when the upper floor needs to be set back from the ground floor)

If you [read more...]

Understanding Ceiling Insulation

ceiling insulation (2)

I frequently see comments like “Ceiling insulation is next to worthless in summer.”

I have even heard people say “With a hot roof space it will be overwhelmed.” and “After the sun has gone off it stops the house cooling down.”

Here is the truth:

All insulation works by slowing the rate of heat [read more...]

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Rainfall Intensity

Heavy rain

When most people think about rainfall they think about the amount of rainfall . . . . . . . . . but it’s just as important to understand how hard it can rain, the ‘Rainfall Intensity’.

The ‘Rainfall Intensity’ is important when thinking about things like; Roof Gutters, Down Pipes, Stormwater Pipes , Tank [read more...]