There are specific design elements to look for when buying, renovating, or building homes, according to Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions president Ian Rossiter.
They revolve around the principles of a passive house design; designing homes to maximise heat gain in winter and heat reduction during summer through orientation, shading, ventilation and insulation.
Passive house design was the topic of conversation at Ballarat event ‘Green Drinks’ on Thursday night. Community members interested in sustainable living options met at Main Bar Ballarat to discuss ideas and hear from Green Point Design’s Eric Zehrung .
Mr Rossiter built a passive solar house 25 years ago using secondhand bricks with solar panels, solar hot water heating, double-glazed windows and shade protection.
It is simple things like looking whether most of the windows are on the north side. If they’re not, chances are it will be a hot box in summer and impossible to heat over winter.Ian Rossiter, BREAZE
He said adopting passive house design elements were accessible for the everyday person looking to build a house.
“Passive house design is really easy to do if you start with that as a design premise rather going back and changing a design,” he said.
“At the time the house cost $135,000 to build and all the passive house attributes cost no more than $10,000. It has saved us well more than $10,000 over last 25 years in energy costs.”
Mr Rossiter said he hoped creating a conversation in the lead up to Sustainable House Day on September 16 would help consumers be aware of these design elements when looking at display homes.
“It is simple things like looking whether most of the windows are on the north side. If they’re not, chances are it will be a hot box in summer and impossible to heat over winter,” he said.
“It is frustrating new estates are not built with these considerations... In order to make housing stock more sustainable there needs to be a consumer driven approach to calling builders into account on the quality of the buildings they are offering for sale.”
You can visit sustainable houses near Ballarat on September 16. Visit sustainablehouseday.com/ for information.