Lady Chameleon

Design + Architecture Blog


Make Your Building More Energy Efficient

Energy efficient homes are not a passing fad – they are the new normal. With ongoing energy supply and costs becoming harder to predict, making sure your new home is harnessing all the natural energy available is key.

If you are building a new home from scratch and have the ability to determine the orientation of the building, you should position the house facing south in the northern hemisphere and north in the in the southern. Position rooms that get the most use such as the living/dining or home office at the front of the house to take full advantage of sunlight and rooms such are laundry, toilet or other utility rooms at the back of the house. Eaves on the house should be designed in such a way as to let sunlight in during winter and shade the rooms in summer.

Insulation of course plays a major role in heating and cooling a house. Wall cavities and roof spaces should have substantial high quality insulation included in the build. What is sometimes overlooked however is the quality of the glass used in the windows and door hardware. This is of particular importance because of the current trend towards larger open plan spaces incorporating exterior folding or sliding doors with large expanses of glass. For maximum energy efficiency, glass used in these should be double or even triple glazed. There are also a number of very high tech glass options available now that reflect heat but allow sunlight in.

When choosing your hardware for folding doors, window materials or sliding door hardware, timber is far superior to aluminium in terms of its thermal properties. It also adds natural materials to your home and visually compliments glass very well. Choose the best you can afford when it comes to door hardware as quality bottom rolling door hardware and sliding door tracks will make a huge difference to the long term functionality and ease of operation of these often heavy sliding doors. The initial costs can sometimes be quite high, but it always money is well spent in the long run as heating and cooling costs are reduced significantly.