About Me

Planning and Executing Construction and Contracting Projects: Tips for Consumers

Welcome to my blog. My name is Deborah. About 15 years ago, I bought an old home. We worked with several contractors to rehabilitate it, but ultimately, the foundation simply wasn't stable enough, and we had to tear it down. After that, we worked with a construction crew to build a home from the ground up. The experience was exciting and challenging, and I learned a lot through that process. I want to share construction and contracting facts and information with others so I decided to start this blog. I hope that you like the results, and I thank you for reading. Enjoy!

Planning and Executing Construction and Contracting Projects: Tips for Consumers

Passive Design Elements to Prioritise for Your New Home Construction

by Samantha Russell

A passive home, by design, saves energy and money. But exactly what building design features make for good passive home construction? 

With energy prices constantly going up, it makes sense to build a passive home. Passive home construction involves incorporating building design features that minimise unwanted heat gains and losses so that a home doesn't require a lot of energy to heat or cool while maintaining consistent humidity and high air quality.

These passive design strategies can help you build an energy-efficient home.

House orientation

When building a passive house, it matters which direction your house faces. In Australia, north-facing houses in many climates get sun-lit for the longest period during the day in winter. For this reason, north-facing houses tend to be warmer and brighter during the winter spell. In summer, these houses block out sunlight, keeping the inside temperature cooler and more comfortable.

If you want to have a home that's warm and bright in winter while blocking out the heat from the sun during summer, building a house with a northern orientation is ideal. Keep in mind that a variation of the north-facing aspect may be ideal in some climates. 

Thermal mass

This refers to a building's heat-storage potential. Generally, houses that absorb and retain heat better are favoured because they minimise internal temperature fluctuations.

When building a passive home, use construction materials that have a high thermal mass — that is, a high capacity to store absorbed heat. Some common materials with high thermal mass include brick, concrete, and stone.

Residential insulation

Adding quality insulation to your new home is another great way to make the home energy-efficient. Residential insulation reduces heat gains and losses through the walls, floors and attic of the building, resulting in further energy savings.

Remember that different areas of the home may require different types of insulation to minimise thermal inefficiencies. 

Solar installation

Installing solar panels and solar thermal collectors is another great way to reduce energy use in your home. With solar panels, you can generate electricity and store it in batteries for future use. Solar collectors, on the other hand, collect sunlight and convert it into heat that you can use to heat your water.

While each works differently and has different purposes, both can significantly reduce your home's reliance on grid electricity and fossil fuels like natural gas, propane and heating oil.

Modern households use energy for a variety of purposes, including lighting and electrical appliances, space heating and cooling, water heating and many more. If you want to minimise energy use in your new home, it helps to add passive design elements into your new house construction. For more information about passive home construction, don't hesitate to consult a local builder that specialises in the construction of passive homes.

For more information, contact builders near you.