Client Books - Page 53

Energy-efficient design is not just a buzz phrase. The decisions you make right at the start of a new home project have a major bearing on your family’s future comfort – and the amount you will spend on energy bills. To help you plan for energy efficiency, EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) has a number of suggestions. EECA spokesman Robert Tromop says taking advantage of passive heating from the sun is the first consideration for designers and homeowners. “The sun’s energy is free, clean and there’s plenty of it, so it makes sense to make the most of it in our homes,” he says. “This energy source is vastly under utilised in most New Zealand homes.” Tromop says passive heating starts with site selection. Choosing a building site that allows you to place living areas on the north-facing side of the house is vital. Living areas with larger, north-facing windows and concrete floors will be able to absorb and trap the heat in winter. Medium-sized windows are best for Preceding pages: An energy-efficient design can make a world of difference to your home’s energy performance. This Lockwood Ecosmart home was designed by Auckland architect Dave Strachan, who says the entire central body of the home is a high-performance thermal envelope. The roof is fitted with solar water-heating panels and photovoltaic cells that harness the sun’s energy. These pages: Cool in summer, warm in winter – the main family living area opens to an enclosed terrace. External acrylic garage-style doors can be raised to cool the space in summer. In winter the sun penetrates the interior. view article online at