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  • Writer's pictureDimitri Harakidas

Build / Renovate for increased Sustainability - Part 3

Further to Part 2 of this series of blogs, the following considerations for higher energy efficiency and ease of compliance with BASIX and BCA are applicable to most cases.

Shading. Awnings, eaves, louvers, blinds are all types of shading applied to walls and windows. Eaves play a significant role in the passive thermal comfort of dwellings and are protecting walls and windows from the sun in winter as the angle of the sun is more vertical compare to winter, while the sun is able to penetrate windows and heat up / hence providing a building with free energy. Typically gutters are part of the eave system and the overall width of the eaves can play a significant role in the overall performance of the building, conversely depending on where in Australia the building is located and is reflected in the overall NatHERS rating. Awnings and eaves are generally fixed in their projection once installed.

Louvres or louvers, blinds etc form part of glazing shading devices and generally are adjustable. Their benefit is that they can be implemented depending on weather conditions. In certain cases, councils do not allow these devices in situations when facades are heritage listed.

Commitments in the BASIX thermal comfort section always require for shadings to be specified.

Colors. The color of external walls and roof can play a significant role also. Roof as it is the most exposed element of the building in the sun, generally affects the NatHERS performance of the dwelling depending on its color shade.

Dark colored window frames generally decrease heating loads and increase cooling loads, and Light colored window frames, generally do the opposite, so that is a very important factor to be considered.

Light fittings. Most recessed light fittings have a massive negative effect on the performance of a building. In many cases the insulation performance can be downgraded by 50% if recessed light fittings are used, so fittings which allow insulation to be installed safely around of above them should be fitted.

Of course LED lights are by far the best, as they require little energy to run, they do not emit much heat, and are not prone to sparks, they have 1000's of hours of life span and do not contain dangerous chemicals such as fluorescent bulbs do.

BASIX always prefers low energy use light fittings and should always be considered.

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