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What is a sustainable house?
Selected Features of a Sustainable House
- Conservatory for winter heating with shade blinds for summer heat control (passive solar design)
- Generous eaves to the north to minimize sun penetration during summer (passive solar design)
- Concrete wall to provide thermal mass for heat storage (passive solar design)
- Double glazed joinery (to minimise heat loss)
- Solar hot water panels to reduce energy consumption
- Breathable walls to help control interior condensation
- Locally made bricks to minimise embodied energy content
- Plantation grown renewable timber
- Minimal earthworks by designing the house to follow the contours of the land
- Permeable paving to driveway to minimise impermeable areas
- Water tank for rainwater collection
- On-site wastewater treatment and dispersal (for rural and semi-rural sites)
- Surface water from drive to garden for absorption
- Grey water recycling (collectio and re-use)
- Photovoltaic solar panels for electricity generation
Interior: Use of natural (or low VOC) paints, carpet free floors - careful electrical wiring to minimise electromagnetic fields. Modular design dimensions to minimise waste. Roof and wall insulation exceeding minimum requirements. Approved woodburner fireplace with wetback for efficient space and water heating.
A New Zealand Sustainable Home Example
Future Homes won the 2008 Master Builders DBH Best Sustainability Award less than $500K & Pink Batts Energy Efficiency Awards.
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