Tips and Tricks to implement within your household to help reduce your carbon footprint and live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle!
Want to learn more about optimising the thermal comfort of your project? Read below to learn the basics regarding the Thermal Mass capabilities in certain building materials!
NatHERS, (or Nationalwide House Energy Rating Scheme), provides a rating system to determine the thermal comfort of Australian homes through software simulations. This system rates from zero to ten stars. The more stars a home gets the more comfortable the occupants will feel when living in the house/unit without additional cooling or heating systems. A building is unlikely to need any artificial heating or cooling system if it gets a 10 star rating.
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!).
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.
The implementation of the new Nationwide Home Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) Technical Note legislation will result in closer building assessments with property developers, builders, assessors and designers. The question is will the new legislation support or hamper the building process?
The Problem with Windows.
Windows can have a drastic effect on the thermal performance of a building. Up to 40% of a home’s heat can be lost through conduction or radiation at the window, and up to 87% of its heat can enter through solar gain. This unwanted heat flow can be devastating for the energy efficiency of any project.
It is important that designers modify their designs in relation to the climate in which they are built in. In order for the occupants of a home to remain thermally comfortable, the design must work with the climate, not against it, decreasing the need to use heating and cooling systems.