Energy Conservation

Promoting energy efficiency assists in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are key contributors to global warming and climate change. Energy efficiency encompasses more than insulation, even though insulation is a crucial component.

Architectural Design and Layout

Configuring living spaces and main windows to face north can capture winter sunlight, reducing the need for nighttime heating. Minimizing living spaces and windows facing west and east helps keep out the intense summer sun, reducing dependence on artificial cooling. Placing wet areas in close proximity reduces heat loss from hot water pipes.

Shade and Window Treatments

Implementing awnings, external blinds, and verandas can cut down summer window heat gain by 75-80%. Treated glass can yield similar results, but it can also lower heat and light gain in the winter. Double glazing can be effective in Australia’s mountainous regions, but drapes and internal blinds, creating an insulating layer of air between the glass and the indoor window covering, are suitable everywhere.

Ventilation and Draft-Proofing

Internal building layouts, including door and window placement, should be designed considering efficient summer ventilation. Concurrently, sealing gaps around doors and windows with weather-stripping reduces air leakage and prevents unwanted hot and cold air from entering. Wet areas usually require additional ventilation systems.

Building Materials

The optimal choice of building materials largely depends on the local climate. Heavy materials like concrete and brick absorb and release heat slowly, mitigating the impact of rapid temperature changes in temperate areas. Lightweight construction methods, such as brick veneer and timber or fiber boards, work better in hot and humid conditions. Using a combination of materials – heavier for living areas, lighter for sleeping quarters – capitalizes on cooling night breezes in some subtropical zones.


Careful selection and placement of trees and plants can provide summer shade, redirect cooling breezes, create winter windbreaks, and even allow winter sunlight when deciduous trees are used.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

When selecting appliances for heating, cooling, lighting, and cooking, their energy rating stars should be considered. Instantaneous gas or solar hot water systems reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save on water heating bills, which can account for up to 50% of a home's energy consumption. Insulating hot water pipes further enhances the system's efficiency.