3 min read

5 Quick Tips for Sustainable Home Design

By Deniro Stocks on Apr 30, 2020 4:12:02 PM

Topics: Design ESD Glazing Emerging Materials Sustainability Energy Efficiency Climate
2 min read

BASIX: New Project Vs Alterations & Additions

By Deniro Stocks on Apr 28, 2020 11:09:14 AM

Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) is a planning tool to assist the NSW State Government ensure that all new developments and alterations are water and energy efficient. The overall goal of BASIX is to contribute to the sustainable future of NSW by reducing water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 40% as compared to buildings prior to introduction of BASIX.

Topics: ESD BASIX Residential Alterations & Additions
3 min read

The Basics of Passive Cooling

By Deniro Stocks on Apr 26, 2020 8:35:24 PM

Passive cooling is the cheapest method of cooling a home, and as an added bonus is incredibly environmentally friendly. No matter the climate you live in, you'll be using passive cooling to some extent throughout the year.

Whether you live in an apartment or a larger home, your home can be built or modified to allow you to take advantage of passive cooling systems to help you achieve greater comfort. If you already rely on mechanical cooling systems (like air conditioners) you can reduce your energy costs by combining these with passive cooling.

Choosing the most appropriate passive cooling strategies for your home should be guided by the climate you live in. We've listed some of the basic strategies below to get you started!

Topics: Design ESD Emerging Materials Sustainability Energy Efficiency Climate Materials Cooling
2 min read

Who do you want doing your BASIX Assessment?

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 26, 2020 1:14:41 PM

The BASIX assessment and NatHERS process is an ever evolving practice which requires extensive knowledge of available materials, passive heating and cooling strategies and how to design in an ecologically sustainable manner. Although to complete and sign off on the BASIX process one must be a certified assessor. The assessor’s background does not play a large role in determining their competency in assessing a building’s efficiency. Therefore, the question is raised as to who is the most qualified or most knowledgeable to be completing the BASIX assessment?

Topics: ESD Architecture BASIX Opinion Residential
2 min read

Do I need a BASIX Certificate for a Relocatable Home?

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 26, 2020 12:45:51 AM

You really need to check with the council. 
While not particularly a ‘relocatable home’ as it sounds like an existing residence, not a new prefab one, this is the only information on the BASIX website:

Topics: ESD Architecture BASIX Residential
3 min read

Tops Tips on how to pass BASIX

By Deniro Stocks on Apr 25, 2020 11:48:30 AM

BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) assesses the energy and water efficiency of your development. It is one of the most important planning tools currently operating in NSW to ensure buildings are being developed to operate in a sustainable manner. In NSW the State Government requires that a BASIX Certificate is attached to all development plans when submitted for DA approval.

Topics: ESD BASIX NatHERS Thermal Comfort Sustainability Energy Efficiency Residential
2 min read

Promoting Sustainability in Indigenous Communities

By Chloe Huang on Nov 8, 2019 10:00:00 AM

The $500 million Indigenous Infrastructure Investment Fund (IIIF) allocated to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups can be used not only to increase their economic participation, but also promote sustainability in critical resources they have no or limited access to. In this article, we will dig deep into how the funding can be used to promote sustainability in Indigenous communities.

Topics: ESD BASIX NatHERS Sustainability Construction Energy Efficiency Residential Commercial
2 min read

How Indoor Environment Quality works towards BESS Certification

By Deniro Stocks on Aug 20, 2019 12:34:00 PM

Getting a BESS statement can be a drawn out and frustrating experience with councils. To get a BESS statement requires a variety of factors such as management, water, energy, stormwater, Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ), transport, waste, urban ecology and innovation. With IEQ being weighted at 16.5% towards BESS certification, here are four ways where you can improve the Indoor Environment Quality of your next commercial or residential project, while being one step closer toward BESS certification:

1. Noise Pollution

Noise pollution can cause psychological and physical harm. People who are exposed to high levels of noise pollution tend to feel an increased level of stress, and even permanent loss of hearing when exposed repeatedly over a long period of time. Including materials in your building plans such as drywall or fibreboard, will improve hearing, decrease stress and even see higher levels of productivity for commercial buildings.

2. Air Ventilation

Air ventilation is the next step in improving the Indoor Environment Quality toward, poor ventilation can lead to physical issues and increase the risk of anxiety. By developing greener solutions such as including low-VOC paints, having dehumidifiers in your building plans or sealing heating appliances all benefit towards improving IEQ and ultimately helping getting that BESS statement. Additionally, improving air ventilation will not only improve health and well being, but achieve cost savings on electricity too. 

3. Thermal Quality

It's important to understand that humans maintain a body temperature of 37 degrees. When the environment people are working in isn't regulated and is found to be too hot or cold, it is proven individual's perform tasks less efficiently as the body subconsciously exerts energy to regulate its temperature. However, this can be avoided through glazing windows to control thermal comfort or managing the opening of windows, so make sure your building maintains a cool climate and mitigates humidity (particularly during the warmer months!).

4. Lighting

A well-lit commercial or residential building goes a long way toward improving IEW. Builders and developers can improve the quality of lighting in a building by considering glazed windows and maximising the amount of natural light through manipulating window sizes and shapes. Studies have shown that by reducing artificial lighting, there is an increase in well-being and productivity.

By following these four suggestions, your next project, whether commercial or residential will be more eco-friendly and get you one step closer to that pesky BESS statement for developer approval.

Topics: BESS ESD Architecture Thermal Performance Residential
6 min read

2019 Proposed NCC building fabric changes + how they affect you

By Chloe Huang on Nov 19, 2018 2:07:31 PM

The 2019 National Construction Code (NCC) is now imminent and if it seems like it’s been a while since the last major release, it has been a long but welcome 3 years since the Australian Building Codes Board shifted to triennial updates.

The proposed changes include a complete rewrite to the way the building fabric is assessed under Section J (Energy Efficiency). The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) committee working on this update claim to have “rewritten Section J in its entirety" [1] which is powerfully showcased through the 30% average increase to the energy efficiency stringency requirements.

So what does this mean to you, as a builder or an architect? How is this going to affect your project and does this mean an increased financial strain on your budget to comply with these new energy efficiency targets? In short it depends what climate zone you are building and to what extent how much renewable energy mix is within your local energy supply. The below table indicates the expected construction cost reduction or increased to comply with the new NCC based on your climate zone refer map below.

[1]Dr Paul Bannister – Reviewer for Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings DTS Modelling Report 2018 by Energy Action

Topics: Energy NCC ESD Section J Certification Update NCC Changes NABERS
6 min read

FIFA’s Impact on Building Sustainable Stadiums

By Jamie Bonnefin on Oct 24, 2018 4:32:48 PM

Figure 1shows FIFA World Cup trophy and official football (1)

Topics: ESD Architecture Sustainability Construction Structure Energy Energy Efficiency