Australian homeowners increasingly embracing green technology when renovating or building their homes; sustainable home designs become more popular as energy costs rises, finds report

PARRAMATTA, New South Wales , February 10, 2014 () – Homeowners are increasingly embracing green technology when renovating or building a new home.

While once the preserve of the environmentally conscious, sustainable designs are becoming more popular as a way to save money.

In the past three years, energy prices have risen by an average of 35 per cent, with the Australian Energy Market Commission estimating that average national prices will jump a further 37 per cent this year.

Archicentre, the building design, inspection and advice service of the Australian Institute of Architects, says many families are feeling the pinch.

Archicentre NSW general manager Ian Agnew says a well-designed home can cut energy costs and add value to the property.

“The key to year-round comfort is passive solar design, which carefully combines material, method and the sun’s natural energy,” Agnew says.

The energy-wise home requires a complex mix of insulation, high thermal mass, intelligent glazing, shading and ventilation arranged to enhance comfort.

Daylighting, a term used to light interior space with natural light, is a much-loved concept.

In Australia, Solatube Daylighting System offers a penetration design to improve energy performance by minimising heat gain and heat loss by capturing light through a rooftop dome which travels down reflective tubing and through a flush-fitting ceiling diffuser.

POWERING DOWN Ichijo Technological Homes is joining the move to green homes with its i-Smart home range. These homes are said to cut power bills by up to 50 per cent with features like double-glazed windows and external insulation. They have an energy star rating of 7.0 compared with the standard new home rating of 4.5-5.

■ Details: ichijo.com.auarchicentre.com.au; solatube.com.au; ICHIJO.com.au

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