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How to achieve an 8-star energy rated home

An energy rating is your home’s measure of how energy-efficient it is. A higher rating means a home that costs less to run and is more comfortable to live in, whilst also being more environmentally friendly and sustainable in the long run. While this may not be the top priority for everyone during their build, it’s something to consider when going through the selection process.

First, let’s look quickly at some of the things that contribute to the energy rating of your home:

  • Your window size and glazing type
  • Exterior wall and roof colors
  • Insulation
  • The direction of your windows
  • Your house’s aspect (positioning on the block)
  • Your slab type
  • The overall building mass
  • Construction methods used to create the walls and floors
  • Local climate
  • What shading you have around the side of your house such as eaves, a porch , alfresco, or carport

How energy efficient is your home?

To help understand how a home is more energy efficient, picture this; A large bag filled with air – pierce a hole in the bag and immediately the holes allow air in or out. This is how a house works; each window is just another ‘hole’ letting the air in or out. That’s not to say an energy efficient home is only achievable in a dark house with no windows – it just means the windows need to be carefully placed to optimize sun direction & solar gain!

Windows placed north facing receive an enormous amount of winter sun, allowing warmth to enter the house. In summer the sun is higher, therefore the roof/eaves help to keep the house cool. In Victoria a high energy rating can be achieved by maximizing north facing windows.

6 out of 10 stars is the current legal minimum energy rating for Victorian homes, however, as of September 2021 changes to the state’s standards have been proposed, including raising this minimum to 7 stars. We obtain an energy rating on your behalf in the preliminary drafting stage from a certified thermal performance energy assessor.

What can you do to ensure that your energy rating is higher?

  1. Start with a plan that has a higher minimum rating
  2. Choose dark colours for your home’s exterior
  3. Increasing you insulation
  4. Upgrade from single to double-glazed windows
  5. Ensure that your roof has Eaves for shade
  6. Maximize north-facing windows as demonstrated below in ‘The Star’ Display home
  7. Keep windows on the East and West faces of your home to a minimum
  8. Choose smaller windows for the south face of your home
  9. Choose window sizes that are sufficient for your needs, but no bigger than necessary (as small as possible).
  10. Choose energy efficient claddings to the exterior of your home.
  11. Where possible, orientate your house so that the side with the most living spaces (where the most windows are) is facing north.

The Star floorplan in particular, has a high base-level energy rating without any major upgrades. However, if you’re interesting in designing an energy efficient home, get in touch with us and we’ll show you how you can make any of our plans suited to be more energy efficient!

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