Building an Energy Efficient Home
Building a new home or extending an existing home is an excellent opportunity to include energy efficient and environmentally sustainable design features.
To make your home more comfortable, environmentally friendly and significantly reduce your ongoing energy costs, there are a number of areas to consider with your builder when building or extending.
All new homes and extensions built in South Australia must meet minimum energy efficiency requirements. New homes must also meet additional requirements for efficient lighting and water heaters.
The Council or a private certifier will assess the design of your new home or extension for compliance before you are given development approval and construction can begin.
Sustainability and efficiency regulations (SA.GOV.AU)
SA.GOV.AU - information and services for South Australians, has resources on the following topics:
- energy efficiency assessments
- energy efficiency requirements for new homes
- energy efficient commercial buildings.
Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable homes
Resilient East: Climate ready homes
Resilient East has a series of resources, tips and offerings to support you to:
- keep homes cool in extreme heat, and warm in winter, whilst keeping costs down
- adapt existing homes to suit a changing climate – refurbish, renovate, and seasonal preparation
- be smart about energy and water use to reduce costs
- utilise garden space and choice of outdoor materials
- design for sustainability
- live lightly with low impact on the environment and better outcomes for your health and wellbeing
- connect with neighbours, landlords and public spaces to achieve broader, stronger climate ready outcomes.
Resilient East is a partnership between state and local government organisations in eastern Adelaide.
Energy efficiency considerations when building or extending a home
1. North facing living areas:
|2. Internal doors & rooms:||
|3. Thermal mass:||
|4. Insulate & draught proof:||
|5. Windows & shading:||
|6. Heating & cooling appliances:||
|8. Water heaters & other appliances:||
Checks after building is completed
Once your'e building or extension is complete, use the first few months to check that the energy efficiency features of your home have been constructed correctly and are performing as expected. Check, where possible, that insulation is correctly in place after all the various trades have completed their work.
Also look out for unintended gaps in joints between different materials (such as walls, floors, doors, window frames and other fixtures). These can cause ‘air leaks’ that will reduce the energy efficiency of your home. The best way to check for these is to engage a specialist to use thermal imaging cameras, blower door testing equipment and other systems to check on the buildings overall thermal performance.
Discuss any problems you find with your builder, as your building contract is likely to have provisions for correcting defective workmanship.
For more information on energy efficient home design and appliances, visit: SA.GOV.AU - Energy