ENVIRONMENTAL HOMES

Comfortable and affordable living doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Reduce your environmental footprint with a house designed to fit the needs of you and your family.

Whether you’re looking for a better use of natural energy, smarter building materials or smarter water use, Blue Eco Homes offer a wide range of sustainable features that can be specifically tailored to your individual requirements. You can build your dream environmental home that best fits your lifestyle, ongoing maintenance and budgetary needs.

This short video highlights some typical sustainable design features we build into our homes:

Some of the sustainable features we regularly provide in the homes we build include:

Climate Responsive Design

  • Throughout Australia there are eight different climate zones. Each with their own weather patterns including factors such as seasonality, intensity of the sun, wind rainfall and humidity.
  • Knowing these site-specific environmental conditions can help designers and architects to make informed design choices ensuring you will have a comfortable energy efficient home.

Building Orientation

  • Building orientation refers to the positioning of your home on site, in relation to the sun.
  • This is done to maximise the use of natural climatic features, such as the sun and cooling breezes to heat and cool the home, reducing the need for auxiliary heating and cooling.
  • Homes aligned along a West-East axis with the main living spaces facing north will maximise solar exposure in winter and control the shading of walls and windows in summer.

Thermal Mass

  • Thermal mass is a term that describes how well a building material stores heat.
  • Used appropriately, materials with high thermal mass will moderate indoor temperatures by absorbing heat from their environment and then releasing the heat slowly when the surrounding temperature goes down
  • To be effective, thermal mass needs to be integrated with other solar passive design techniques appropriate for the climate
  • Materials with a high thermal mass include concrete, bricks and tiles
  • Materials with a low thermal mass include lightweight materials, such as timber.

Windows and Glazing

  • Windows and glazing are a key element of your home’s design, providing light, ventilation, noise control and security, whilst offering views and connecting interior spaces with the outdoors.
  • However, windows and glazing can account for more heat gain or loss than any other element your home.
  • You can enjoy the benefits of your windows and glazing without the excessive heat loss or gain by employing the following principles:
    • Select the correct glazing systems for your orientation and climate
    • Locate larger openings to the north, and small openings to the south
    • Locate window and door openings to allow natural cooling by cross ventilation
    • Provide seals to openings to minimise unwanted draughts

External Shading

  • Effective shading of your house and outdoor spaces can reduce summer temperatures by up to 90%, which will improve comfort and save energy.
  • Shading devices include eaves, shutters, windows awnings, pergolas and plantings.

Passive Heating and Cooling

  • Passive heating and cooling are the least expensive ways to heat and cool your home as they use natural elements to heat and cool your home, instead of mechanical systems.
  • Design for passive heating will allow winter sun in, and keep it in, while keeping summer sun out and allowing further heat build up to escape.
  • Design for passive cooling will cool both the house and the people in it by removing warm air out of the home and replace it with cool external air.
  • Some examples of passive heating and cooling systems include
    • Glazing and overhangs designed to allow maximum sun entry for winter heating and minimum entry of summer sun
    • Door and louvre window openings placed to provide cross-ventilation through rooms
    • Operable highlight windows to allow venting of heat in summer

Active Heating and Cooling

  • In active heating and cooling, mechanical systems are used to collect and distribute energy.
  • These systems can run on solar or geothermal power in order to provide heating and cooling
  • Some examples of active heating and cooling systems include
    • Hydronic in-slab heating system
    • Hot water supplied by evacuated tube collectors
    • Reversible ceiling fans in living areas and bedrooms

Insulation

  • Insulation is essential to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer, by acting as a barrier to heat flow.
  • A well-insulated home can cut cooling and heating bills by up to half, whilst providing year round comfort, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The most appropriate type and level of insulation is determined by the climatic conditions your home will be built in.
  • Without proper insulation, up to two thirds of a homes heat energy can be lost.
  • Examples of insulation include bulk, reflective or composite and can be installed in the roof, walls, floors and the slab edge. (customised to suit design and materials requirements)

Landscaping

  • Minimal clearing of vegetation for building works (and bushfire protection, where necessary)
  • Where possible, all cleared vegetation mulched on-site, and re-used for landscaping and remedial works

Recycle/Re-use

  • Building debris/rubbish sorted on site and dealt with as follows:
    • Steel: recycled or re-used
    • Gyprock: re-used for clay breaker on gardens or recycled by manufacturer
    • Timber: off-cuts re-used or recycled
    • Cardboard and paper: recycled
    • Concrete, Brick, Tile – recycled
    • Excavated soil & rock reused on site for landscaping
    • All timber is plantation grown or recycled

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