While a lot of new innovations have been made in insulating materials and eco-friendly building, in some cases, you may just want to consider old fashioned design methods. In particular, if you want to design a new home that doesn't use a lot of energy, you may want to take a page from some of the classic designs popular in early colonial Australia.
1. Cross Ventilation
Victorian homes were popular in Australia during the turn of the 20th century, and many of these homes offer a lot of cross ventilation. Play with the classic square shape of these homes in your new home design, and make sure you talk with the builder about adding lots of windows. Combine that with a relatively open-plan design, and the wind can sweep from one end of your home to the other.
2. Covered Porches
Covered front porches are also a common feature of Victorian and even Queen Anne properties. You may want to have these porches facing north. During the summer, that is the part of your home that tends to get the most sun. However, if you have big covered porches on that side of your home, the roofs of the porches shade your windows, helping to keep your home cool and reducing your reliance on air conditioning.
3. Sleeping Porches
Rather than just having regular porches, you may want to consider sleeping porches. These should be oriented the same direction as the approaches described above, but they should be screened in. You may also want to put some sleeping porches off of bedrooms. In the summer, you don't have to worry about running your AC at night because you can sleep on your cool porches.
To allow air to flow under your home, consider putting it up on stumps or stilts. The classic Queenslander home featured this design, and you can still opt to integrate stumps into new home designs. The stumps raise the home off the ground, protecting it from flooding but also boosting circulation and giving you some extra storage space.
Brick homes were popular during various times in Australian history. In particular, homebuilders used bricks when they were attempting to mimic the Spanish Colonial style of building. Brick is a natural insulator, and it can help keep cold in and heat out as desired. Talk with your builder about using brick instead of wood.
3 April 2017
Hello, my name is Colin and this is my construction blog. When people think of the construction industry, they often just imagine guys in hard hats building brick walls. While this is a popular image of the industry, it doesn't reflect the true diversity of different contractors and tradesmen who are involved in a construction project. Lasy year, my wife and I decided to construct our dream home. I had to arrange visits of plumbers, roofers, electricians, surveyors and home builders in order to get the job done. I learnt a lot during that experience, so I decided to start this blog.