The Renovator's Guide to The 17 Things™
- 1. Climate Zone
- 2. Living Locally
- 3. Orientation
- 4. Cross-ventilation
- 5. Zoning
- 6. Insulation
- 7. Density of Building Materials
- 8. Windows
- 9. Shading or Sun Control
- 10. Efficient Heating and Cooling Devices
- 11. Energy Efficient Lighting
- 12. Efficient Hot Water System
- 13. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System
- 14. Low Water Garden
- 15. Water Efficiency Devices
- 16. Rainwater Tanks
- 17. Home Energy Rating
No 7: Density of Building Materials
Some building materials have a very useful characteristic beyond just making a floor or a wall: the ability to store heat and coolness and release it back into the home when it is needed. This is called “thermal mass”. Other building materials are light and more suited to tropical environments.
No 9: Shading or Sun Control
Shade structures can range from awnings to eaves, shutters and shade sails to deciduous trees and other vegetation. These external additions to your home can play an important role in controlling the sun’s heat from entering your home, and reduce your reliance on mechanical cooling.
No 11: Energy Efficient Lighting
While there are many options available on the market, light emitting diode (LED) lighting is considered by the lighting industry to be the premium efficiency lighting option. LEDs cost considerably less to run, last in excess of 25,000 hours and can save up to 80% of energy compared to incandescent light globes.
No 12: Efficient Hot Water System
Efficient hot water systems such as solar hot water systems, electric heat pump systems, gas storage systems and instantaneous gas have the potential to deliver substantial savings on energy bills. From allowing you to wash dishes at the correct temperature to taking a warm relaxing shower they also impact health and comfort.
No 13: Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System
A solar PV system can reduce your reliance on conventional electricity by converting the energy in sunlight to electricity. For a solar PV system to be efficient and help reduce running costs its output needs to be well matched to your needs, and the panels need to be orientated for optimal output, maintenance and not be overshadowed.
No 14: Low Water Garden
Low water gardens, sometimes referred to as water-wise or drought-resistant gardens, contain plants that are suitable for dry climates like Australia. Despite what people may think low water gardens can be lush and inviting and they mean a lot less water usage for the property and less time spent on garden maintenance.
No 17: Home Energy Rating
Energy rating certificates are generated by software that measures your home’s thermal performance – the heating and cooling energy you are likely to need to make the home comfortable. An energy rating can be assessed by a building professional but is only accredited by an accredited assessor.