Latest news from Your Home
12 August 2022
New video case study from Woodforde, Adelaide
A beautifully designed house built on a narrow west facing block with a strong emphasis on solar passive design features such as orientation, glazing, insulation and thermal mass. This case study showcases an impressively air-tight home with a NatHERS star rating at the top of the scale.
View the video and house specifications for the Woodforde case study.
Video production by Blue Tribe Co.
14 January 2022
New video case study from Freshwater, Sydney
An inner Sydney house built on a small and difficult site, uses solar passive design and ‘Passive House’ principles to achieve a comfortable compact home. Positioning the house to take advantage of solar passive heating and cooling was difficult but achievable.
View the video and house specifications for the Freshwater case study.
15 December 2021
Watch the webinar: Introducing the 6th edition of Your Home
This is a recording of an expert session webinar from Sustainable House day 2021, hosted by Renew. Join expert authors of Your Home as they take a look at what’s new in the latest edition and meet the homeowner of a case study featured in Your Home.
Sophie (Renew) Hello, everyone. Welcome to our Sustainable House day expert session on Your Home. We're very happy that you could join us this evening. So first, I just like to acknowledge that we're meeting today on the lands of many First Nations peoples. I am speaking to you from the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, we would just like to acknowledge that their elders, we would like to acknowledge their elders past present and emerging sovereignty was never ceded, always was always will be Aboriginal land. And I'd also like to acknowledge any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people who might be watching today. If you'd like, feel free to share which Aboriginal land you're watching from with us in the chat. Before the webinar begins, I would just like to tell you a little bit more about Sustainable House Day and Renew. Sustainable House Day is a national event that gives you access to Australia's most sustainable homes. This is our final Sustainable House Day event for this year. As part of this year's event, we offered four themed weeks of online and in person events around the country leading up to Sustainable House Day which took place on 17th October, when we hosted a day of free online sessions with homeowners, you can now watch recordings of all of these online sessions for free on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/RenewAustralia. You can also visit sustainablehouseday.com to see detailed house profiles and tour videos for the 130 homes that were open this year. Sustainable House Day is organized by Renew were a not for profit that inspires enables and advocates for people to live sustainably in their homes and communities. You can find out more about us at renew.org.au . So tonight's session will begin with expert presentations, and then we'll move on to a q&a session. You can ask questions at any point in the webinar this evening using zooms q&a function, which you can find in the toolbar at the bottom of your screen. We have several members of the home team who will be answering your questions in the q&a via text. In addition to in our panel discussion, which will focus on the questions that you submitted with your registration. We ask that you please do use the q&a in the chat to ask your questions. We also have live live closed captioning for the event. To use it you can click on live custom live streaming service in the upper left hand corner of your zoom window and click View stream to see the automated captioning in a browser window. So thanks so much. I would now like to hand over to our emcee for this evening Anna Cumming who is the editor of Sanctuary. Hello, Anna. Anna (Renew) Hi, everyone. Thank you, Sophie. Welcome to this final session for Sustainable House Day 2021. It's a special event to launch the new edition of Your Home Australia's award winning guide to environmentally friendly homes. My name is Anna Cumming and I will be your emcee tonight. I'm speaking today from the traditional country of the Djadjawurrung people in central Victoria. And I acknowledge them as the traditional owners of this land and pay my respects to elder's past, present and emerging. And so as Sophie said I'm the editor of Sanctuary Modern Green Homes magazine, our publisher Renew is the organizer of Sustainable House Day and has also been part of the various Your Home committees since its beginning 20 years ago. Sanctuary and Your Home have always been complimentary publications pulling in the same direction to inspire interest in sustainable housing and equip readers with the knowledge they need to do it. Personally, I have a long standing interest in sustainable energy efficient and comfortable homes that tread lightly on the earth. And I really love being part of the mission to inspire and educate people about the design strategies, materials and systems available to achieve them exactly what Your Home does, too. I'm also a huge fan therefore of Your Home and delighted to see this new overhauled edition complete. We have a great lineup of presentations tonight, followed by a q&a session. So let's get started. First up, we have Angela Newey, Manager of the Your Home and NatHERS Operations team at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, who will be giving us a bit of an introduction to Your Home and the scope of the new addition. Angela led a committed team to deliver the latest edition of the Your Home book and website coordinating authors, designers, editors, reviewers and web developers. With a background in soil carbon Angela joined the Australian Public Service with a motivation to work on evidence based policy and programs. She held a variety of positions across subject areas ranging from climate change and biodiversity conservation to energy security, before embracing her current role in residential energy efficiency. Hi Angela and welcome. Angela (Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources) Thank you Anna and Sophie and to ask her to start my videos start my video. Can you see my video? Yep, we can see it. Great. Well, thank you. I'll start my I'll start sharing my screen here we go. All right. Well, yes, thank you very much, Sophie and Anna and to Renew for the opportunity to speak tonight about a newly released sixth edition of Your Home Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable homes. So I'm going to talk about what it is the policy context, and then some of the key features of the sixth edition. I'm coming to you from Ngunnawal and Ngamberi land here in Canberra, and I pay my respects to the traditional owners and their elders past, present and emerging. So Your Home is independent peer reviewed reference material, and provides best practice information to build, buy or renovate to achieve an environmentally sustainable home. The first edition was released in 2001. So we've just released the sixth edition in the year of the 20th anniversary of Your Home. Objectives of Your Home to increase consumer awareness of the benefits and the options for building a sustainable home. Your Home aims to lift industry capability to build energy efficient homes, for sort of dual purposes, both to enable them to deliver increases in minimum energy efficiency requirements in the National Construction Code as that gets upgraded, but also to help them respond to the increasing demand from consumers for environmentally sustainable homes. And thirdly, Your Home supports education, the education sector, who train our next generation of industry professionals. So the policy context of Your Home, it supports a number of government initiatives. In the national context, there's the National Energy Productivity Plan, which is a commitment by all Australian Governments to improve energy productivity by 40% between 2015 and 2030. There is the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings and the Addendum, which again, is a commitment by Australian Governments. And this one is to move our building stock towards zero energy and zero carbon ready buildings. So that means moving towards buildings with an efficient thermal shell. So referring to the roof, the walls, the windows, the floor, what materials and how they're designed, so an efficient thermal shell, efficient appliances and buildings that are ready to be hooked up to renewable energy or decarbonized energy. There's also the National Construction Code, which sets the minimum energy efficiency requirements for new builds and major renovations. And there's a suite of proposed changes being considered currently for that, which do propose upgrades increases in stringency to the minimum energy efficiency requirements. And then there's the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme, or NatHERS, which is a design tool for building energy efficient homes. But it's also the most common way that a new building design demonstrates that it has achieved the minimum energy efficiency requirements. So Your Home supports all of these initiatives by providing information and guidance on how to go that next step to improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings in Australia. So, the sixth edition has undergone a major technical and editorial update. The process was overseen by the Your Home Consultative Committee, which has representatives from industry from Peak housing bodies, from the education sector, from consumer groups and State Governments. And we're also ably assisted by the University of Technology Sydney, who led most of the technical updates. And we'll be hearing from Caitlin McGee about her involvement in the project later this evening. So we have five new chapters, they cover Passivhaus, condensation, food and organic waste, building with hemp masonry, and building for bushfire resilience. And we're also lucky enough to have the author of the bushfire resilience chapter Graham Douglas here with us tonight too. We have eight new case studies that show how the theory has been put into practice in real life and include some of the costs involved. We have a suite of contemporary images and new technical drawings to illustrate the text. And both the website and the book have undergone a thorough design refresh. Overall, we have over 50, contributing authors, all experts in their field, and every chapter has been peer reviewed. So what it amounts to is a unique compilation of knowledge over the building and design sectors for a national audience. So if you're interested in having a copy, you can purchase them from the Your Home website. The the softcover versions have been printed now and are being dispatched the hardcover versions, which we were producing as a way to celebrate the 20th anniversary, we're producing a small number, a limited edition of the hardcover. But they're still being bound. So they're expected to be dispatched in mid November. And of course, it's all available for free online as always. So that's really it for me. Thanks for listening. And I back to you Anna. Anna (Renew) Thank you, Angela for that overview. I'm going to get straight on to introducing the next presenters are going to hear from the dynamic duo of Caitlin McGee and Dick Clarke both longtime contributing authors to Your Home. Caitlin's a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, her research focuses on a regenerative vision for cities as places that make a net positive ecological, social and economic contribution. She's got a particular interest in housing and social change and has been at the forefront of some high profile projects including a range of training programs for the building industry, and of course, Your Home. Dick is Principal of Envirotecture and is an accredited building designer with 40 years of experience focusing exclusively on ecologically sustainable and culturally appropriate buildings. Among many other positions, it currently sits on the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council or ASBEC, the peak body representing industries committed to a sustainable built environment. Hello, Dick. Hello, Caitlin. Good evening. Hello. Hi. Caitlin Mcgee (University of Technology Sydney) Nice to be here. Hi, everybody. I'm coming to you from Gadigal land. And Dick maybe you would like to say Dick. Dick Clarke (Envirotecture) Up on Sydney's not quite so sunny, Northern Beaches, which is Gai-mariagal land. And we'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners and pay our respects to elder's past, present and emerging. And it is particularly exciting to be doing this because, as you heard, Dick, I have a long history with Your Home. We were there right from the very beginning. And it's how we met. Caitlin McGee (UTS) It's how so many things happened. It's very exciting for us. So without further ado, I will just share my screen. Can everyone see that? What we're going to do is just give you a bit of a tour of the new edition of Your Home. In particular, what's changed and why. And so these are the questions we were asked to address. What we'll focus on mostly is the burning question that you all want to know, which is what's new in Your Home, but we'll try to cover some of these other things as well. We thought we would start by thinking about what's changed since the last edition which was released in 2013. In terms of the bigger picture, I won't dwell too much on this because it's all around us at the moment with the Glasgow summit, but I have been at all the launches for Your Home, involved with all the additions but never has there been this kind of imperative and this urgency. So we're actually seeing and feeling the effects of climate change now. The events of the past few years have really brought that home. And the sciences is even clearer. So we know that at the moment, we are at about 1.1 degrees of warming, we're already seeing very destructive impacts around the world. 1.5 degrees of warming is generally agreed as the point at which the impacts goes from destructive to catastrophic. And so the Paris Agreement is aimed at keeping global average temperatures close to 1.5 degrees of warming, and well under 2 is their wording. But we know that if we are going to do that, we actually have to make deep cuts this decade. So that's kind of scary. So what they mean by that is, we're going to have to reduce emissions by about half from 2010 levels this decade. So, yes, that's definitely really scary. But I'm an eternal optimist. And I think also, what's changed is that there is so much more momentum now and so much more understanding. And there is, there seems to me that there's a real will to do this and there's a lot of innovation happening in the building sector, and it's around climate change, but it's not limited to climate change. So there are other approaches coming to the fore like circular economy, regenerative design, so it's both brightening and, you know, I think there's a lot to be excited about too, if you're involved in housing. So next slide. Whoops. That's right. Sorry Dick, did I just stole your thunder there? Well, Dick Clarke (Envirotecture) what's happening next year in terms of regulation, and regulation exists to put a bar under worst possible performance. So simply being compliant with regulation is not anything more than just not breaking the law effectively. So next year, National Construction Code, in Volume Two, which covers housing is increasing the stringency in a number of areas. And importantly, it's bringing in some effective compensation provisions, which really do mean that when it lifts the thermal performance from six, the current six stars, to seven, it will be an effective lift, because six stars was always a bit notional, when there was no control over condensation, and so on. So that's, that's a good thing. But it's still, you know, only just minimum compliance. It's also bringing some new stuff. The Whole of Home Annual Energy Use requirements, that's brand new in the codified level, in New South Wales BASIXS, has done that for some years and will still cover it in that State. Also, in class two buildings, and this includes not just the larger multi residential buildings, but quite a few smaller residential buildings that are not side by side dual occupancies that, you know, where there's one above the other, there are class two building, and there are new rules and regulations around that. Okay, that's minimum compliance. On the next slide. We can see when the technology catches up with us, there we go. So Angela mentioned before the trajectory which has been agreed to by all of the Building and Planning Ministers around the country through COAG and so what we're trying to do is steer the world towards a zero net energy future. And in the next slide, the part that's relevant to the National Construction Code is that bit boxed in red. But once again, it's really saying look, this is what we have to achieve as a minimum, nothing should fall between the cracks here or fall below the line. What Your Home does is say yeah, that's great, but it's not best practice in Your Home we have best practice this is where we can aim to get ahead of the curve and meet or beat the the timeline the trajectory to net zero. And this is why Your Home is so important, as a carriage of information and presenter have information in a highly detailed set of fact sheets that are very, very practically applicable So what's changed? Angela ran through a couple of days before. But it's essentially it's about best practice that made to exceed the minimum standards and the trajectory. So what we're trying to do is get to this kind of net zero position. And it's not just net zero on energy or carbon, but really net zero ecological impact and Your Home, for those of you who are familiar with it already, would know that it's a very broad based document, there are lots of different pieces of the puzzle that are covered. And in the 71, new chapters, there are lots of tweaks and lots of new content. I won't read through that list, we might jump to the next one. In the interest of time, start going through the things that are updated, I think, Caitlin, would you like to speak to this one? Yeah, so we've just pulled out, there have been a lot of updates that we've just pulled out some of the key updates that are really relevant today. So and we'll just go through and explain a little bit about what's changed. So the adapting to climate change chapter has had a very comprehensive update. So all the latest data is there, including links to go and understand what the projected impacts are for your particular location. There's also a lot of content there about what the different impacts are, and how you can design to mitigate them so that you're able to kind of tailor your strategies for your location, we did have a particular focus on updating the content on heat waves, and you know, different ways to you know, deal with that. So the the concept of coolrooms is one example. And also very important bushfires, we've got a whole new chapter on that which Graham is going to talk about later. Zero energy and zero carbon homes. So somebody pre submitted a question. And thank you very much, by the way, all of you who did that, asking about, you know, talking about the imperative to really reduce our emissions from our homes, and what's the most sort of cost effective or smartest way to go about that. So that is really the focus of this sheet, talking about how you might strategize to do that most cost effectively, that sheet is focused on emissions from the operational energy use of your home. But we also have a new sheet, or an updated sheet on embodied energy and embodied carbon, which looks at the impacts of building materials. So that one's also pretty important. And another important aspect of zero energy home, increasingly important is battery storage, which leads into the next slide. So this is another sheet that had a really significant update, because the technology is really improving. And even though batteries are quite expensive, and more people are utilizing them because the costs are coming down. And also if you have a photovoltaic system, I guess what's changed since 2013 is the feed in tariffs are way less generous, and peak electricity prices are higher so batteries start to make a lot more economic sense in this scenario. So this chapter really talks about what are the different types of batteries, what are the key specifications you need to think about, has really useful links to a calculator that can help you size your batteries for your PV system based on your energy demand and calculate the kind of payback. It also takes you through the various configurations for electrical connection. And there are a whole lot of other topics that it covers too, including safe disposal and recycling of batteries, which is an emerging area, and there's going to need to be a lot of growth in that area. So that's a space to watch. Solar, I won't say too much about this one. I guess it's not so much about adding content, but just a comprehensive update of all the text in the references. I guess since 2013, as I talked about the financial considerations are a bit different in terms of the incentive structure so costs have come down but the feeling tariffs are lower. There also is I guess, because household solar is so popular now we also added a bit of content on avoiding sharks because, you know, that has been a bit of a problem because a lot of people are getting solar there's some dodgy deals out there and if something looks too good to be true, it may well be so there is some advice and some links on making sure that your systems got the right accreditation and you're dealing with an accredited professional. Also, some other areas connected home. So connected home technology has advanced so much since 2013. It's become really accessible, you can buy smart devices, you can control them on your phone. A lot more people have smart meters as well that their electricity retailer might have installed so this section really covers how you might use connected home devices to manage your energy use and reduce your bills. And electric vehicles also a big one. They're expected to reach price parity in Australia this decade. uptake is still fairly low, but it's really starting to shift. So it talks about, we talked about the different types of electric vehicles, the ranges, all the charging considerations, what you would need to know if you wanted to make your home EV (Electric Vehicle) ready for for charging a vehicle in future. And Dick, would you like to go through the updates to the material section. So materials has had a nice rework, you know, some new chapters and also pretty much every chapter has been revised and updated. There is a great chapter on hemp masonry. So this is the material that combines hemp fiber, lime and sand and hemp lime composite, which is great insulation, very robust and resilient, it's great for farmers and soil and is a net carbon sink. So there's a good chapter there. Sediment control is an old one that's been in there from the beginning. But it's interesting how the need for that is still ongoing to prevent pollutants, wash away etc. wash outs from entering waterways. And on the next slide, the material section has all of these chapter headings in it. And the ones that have probably been updated the most concrete slab floors, looking at how to insulate that and specific techniques in how to do that. In waste minimization, I should have said that first, I started halfway down. But waste waste minimization, I was actually witness to a a bad example of that today on a demolition site. Embodied energy. This is now it's going to be the next big thing for sure. It's already been considered in a regulatory level by various State Governments and wrestling with how to do it. It's it's a wicked problem in many ways, but it's one that we have to come to grips with and Your Home's got some great information to help steer us as we make those decisions. Green roofs and walls are increasingly popular. So there's some really good information there as well. So these are photos that I took this morning with my little drone, of a demolition of how not to do it. Construction waste makes up about 40% of all our of all waste going to landfill. And it's really important that we find ways to deconstruct rather than demolish. So that's just a real world tiny example. Okay, and look, I think we're at time. So what we'll say about this section is, if you want to know how we got involved in the Your Home journey, look no further than the next edition of Sanctuary we've written an article about the backstory, which we hope you'll really enjoy. We enjoyed writing it. Benefits of Your Home, I think it's clear, we both think it's awesome. I've used it in my renovation. And I think if we could give you one piece of advice, I believe we're going to get a chance to do that in the panel discussion. So we might leave that for now and sign off and we'll be back in the panel discussion. Anna (Renew) Thank you very much to the two of you. And you beat me to the getting a plug in for your article in the next issue of Sanctuary. It's going to be out in late November. So anybody who's listening who might like to read that article, you will be able to buy a copy from your local newsagent from late November or go to the sanctuary.renew.org.au website to buy your own from start early November. Thanks Dick and Caitlin. Now we're going to move straight on to our next presentation. Dr. Graham Douglas another Your Home contributing author and also Lecturer in bushfire protection at the University of Western Sydney. Graham worked with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service in the area of community safety for more than 15 years and was responsible for developing the legislative provisions and policy relating to bushfire risk managment planning, development control for bushfire prone areas and environmental impact of hazard reduction activities. He participated in a number of subcommittees working on the review of the Australian standard for construction in bushfire prone areas. And he has a PhD in bushfire protection and climate change and has published widely on planning and development control in bushfire prone environments. That's the spiel. Hello, Graham. Grahame Douglas Thank you, just those delays. Well, thank you very much for having me here tonight. And I'm on Gumbaynggirr country on the north coast of New South Wales mid north coast. And I'd like to acknowledge our traditional owners past, present and emerging and also recognize the land is and always will be Aboriginal land. The discussion on bushfire protection that I want to talk about today, and particularly as it's related to Your Home is to give a little bit of a background and just a taste of some of the things that you can find in the document. So one of the things that I would like to first of all is, people will find in the document a little bit of an understanding about what we do mean by bushfires. Bushfires and bushfire intensity, which is a measure of bushfire behavior arises essentially from vegetation, the different types of vegetation, their geography and actually their elevation, the slopes under which the fires burn because increasing slopes will increase the rate of spread of fires and clearly fire weather including season and the location of where you are in the landscape. And many of you will be aware of this meter that's on the side of the road. And this is an indicator of some of the fire danger conditions and being aware of the fire danger conditions is a really important element of living in our Australian bush. Now, there's typically a fire that's occurring somewhere in Australia on any particular day. And fire seasons actually shift across the continent, where in the north of the continent we have our winter and early spring bushfire seasons. And in the south including Southwestern, Western Australia, Adelaide, around parts of Victoria and Tasmania, we tend to get a more Summer and early Autumn fire season. So fire seasons migrate and shift across Australia. And the important thing about bushfires is their elements in terms of bushfire attack. And one of the things that we need to think about when we're building in bushfire prone areas is the nature of the bushfire attack, and how it impacts on the building and what we're trying to do to actually resolve those problems. So I put this into what I've referred to as primary bushfire attack, which includes flame contact, if you're very close to the bush land, radiant heat, embers which are very common way of houses being lost, wind and smoke penetration. And secondary bushfire attack mechanisms are things where we have a primary attack, then causing an impact on another area. And house to house fires is one example of that. The accumulation of debris and then their ignition close to the house, falling limbs and wind driven materials through the fires and the winds that fires cause. And then of course landscaping and furnishings that you find within an area or around the house. And this is just an example of what embers look like which is one of the major mechanisms for the losses of houses. And in this case, embers penetrate the fabric of the building and then burn from the inside out. Not so much from the outside in. One of the things you'll often hear in the area of building in bushfire prone areas is this term BAL which is referred to as a Bushfire Attack Level. And the BAL actually dictates what the standards will say you need to achieve in relation to the construction requirements for particular buildings and here we're talking about residential homes. But it also applies to class two homes and class three homes and in New South Wales class nine homes as well and in Victoria. So typically these BALs are applied at distances of between 100 and 150 meters. And the closer you are to the actual edge of the fire will depend on what the construction levels are that apply. Some of the things that we can also look at is design. And some of the design issues are about stopping debris and materials accumulating in tricky areas, so that we can actually improve the design of buildings. Now, these are very simplistic concepts. And I'm not suggesting at all that you would apply these in all circumstances. But they give you a concept and an idea of how to actually think about design in the broader sense. So these are just examples of things that can be done to achieve it. But obviously, the building has to fit within the context of the site. And there are a number of very specific issues. Because embers are such an important element of house loss and penetration into the building, we often need to make sure that we do things that actually stop embers from penetrating into the building. And so we can use flyscreen materials around the building and windows so that they reduce the number of embers penetrating through towards the glazing. They also help reduce heat on those glazing elements, we can protect our sub floor areas from embers through the use of sarking. And these photos are showing us two other mechanisms. One is we integrate gutter guards and valley guard systems to stop the debris accumulating in gutters and then causing a fire under the roofing system. And in very high exposure areas we can use bushfire shutters that will actually prevent radiant heat, breaking windows and causing fires to start inside the building. And one of the things that is really important when we're thinking about bushfires and designing and planning for bushfire is making sure we give access to firefighters so they can actually get to the building actually provide support and actually help protect buildings. Because there are always going to be conditions where buildings need to be protected and providing access for firefighters providing water supplies, making sure that the building is clear and tidy around the property will always help in terms of survival of a building. And our landscaping. Now preparing for bushfire through landscaping is a very important element. And the nature and types of vegetation that can be used in our landscaping can all lead to either bringing the fire towards the home, or in fact helping shield the building and actually helping reduce the impact of bushfires have and indeed maybe filtering embers so landscaping is a very crucial element. And of course if we have a bushfire we need to have a bushfire survival plan. And people should be talking to their fire services in their State, particularly their rural or country Fire Services, and actually starting to prepare for bushfire survival plans. And now is the time to do that if you're living in a bushfire prone environment. So it's very important to work out what your strategies are, how you're going to deal with a bushfire event, and making sure that you can survive those. Thank you very much. That's all I wanted to talk about today. And happy to answer questions later on if we get to them. Anna (Renew) Thank you Graham. That last photo in your presentation is quite striking, isn't it? Okay, our final presenter tonight is Luke Middleton of EME Design, who designed and built his own comfortable family home in Northcote in Melbourne. Luke's home has featured on the front cover of the new Your Home book and is included inside as a case study. Luke is proud to showcase the passive solar design and Passive House features he used when designing his home built on the existing foundations left from the previous dwelling. The 7.9 star NatHERS rated home features rammed earth walls for thermal mass, clever glazing and orientation, energy efficient appliances and energy generation. Hi, Luke. Luke Middleton (Architect) Hi, Anna. Thank you. Hello, everyone. I hope everyone's enjoying the Spring eather. I first acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation traditional owners and pay my respects to elder's past and present. I've got quite a bit to go through today. And I'm going to start by sharing the screen. So let me just get on with that. And then we can Your Home is an amazing publication. And before I get into Your Home, I think what I wanted to sort of touch on is that, obviously, resilient architecture is going to be a vital component of the planet sustainable future. And sustainability involves multiple layers of interlinked aspects that should be embedded in the design process from the beginning. And we find Your Home a fantastic reference for a wide audience, it covers all the aspects really well. And it's really good to use because it allows you to understand that there's a lot of interlinked, very important, interrelationships between these things. And for that reason, I have this DNA up on the slide, as I think having a design start with the right DNA is vital. And Your Home, if you use Your Home, you're very unlikely to design something like this, which obviously is, I suppose, a modernist building, which has been covered in green. So without further ado, I'll talk a little bit about a couple of the questions that were sent in. And some people asked a couple of questions in relation to what are the key things you might do when you first start, and this will relate also to my case study. Understanding your context, I think it's really important understanding the orientation, the existing vegetation and potential access to the sun, looking at your neighbors and how their buildings interrelate with your site, and looking at what the future might be, look at the scale of the design and development in the area. But another really important thing is, you know, do you like the neighborhood? Do you like the street? And what are the amenities? And or what are the future amenities? And then if you sort of take the next steps, then one needs to establish key priorities, desired outcomes. And I think it's really important to look at these three levels. One is now - how do you use the spaces? How can you make things multifunctional - therefore build less? How do you look at the seasons and work with the seasons? And how can the architecture and landscape work as a team. And then you've got to look at well, what happens in 15 years time, where circumstances might have changed. And then taking another step, what happens in 50 plus years, because sustainability is about resilience as well, it's very big responsibility. When you start to build a building, you're putting a lot of energy into making a structure that it will last a long time. And that's an I get to this point, which is what we really need to deal with is the fact that many people think the impact of architecture is about aesthetics. This is a quote that I've taken and adapted from Renzo Piano. And, unfortunately, he takes this point of view, which is obviously that it's all about the aesthetics. However, we believe you should reword that. And then it's really important that it's very dangerous job because if you make the wrong decisions, you're imposing an energy intensive and fragile built environment for more than 100 years. So now moving to the case study, this was the existing site. Here's the existing building. Now we managed to recycle quite a lot of it. We didn't analyze the building, but unfortunately, this building was whilst it sort of had good intentions and had northern glazing and the like, the analysis showed that it didn't actually have wasn't going to be able to be remodeled as well. So what did we do, we looked at optimizing the solar, enhancing the heritage context, dealing with the embodied energy of the existing by recycling the foundation's, sourcing local materials, the new building's made with very, very low carbon build materials, a flexible floor plan, productive gardens, and most importantly, delightful spaces to live in that are comfortable. So if we look at the existing home, you'll see this section illustrates the problem. This is the house to the North. And that house is overshadowing all of the Northern windows to this lovely Northern orientated windows that ran all the way along the Northern aspect of the existing house. So when you look at the shadows, again, this is about this observation, which is a permaculture principle, what we thought we find is essential for good sustainable design. You can see there's deep shadows the whole site is overshadowed by. Even though it's a single storey it's a tall building and it's on the slight uphill side. So what did we do we said well, let's get that existing slab let's get those existing foundations, let's recycle the shed to the neighbor let's take the roof off and give it to a farmer. So he used it for we gave away the solar panels to series. The kitchen was recycled. We did what we could we separated materials. And then we designed a new building to sit over that. And we managed to look at the way the storm water, the old building had Concrete, a lot of concrete, the whole new landscape is completely permeable, we added 11,000 liters of water storage under the deck, we had to analyze the existing root depth of the existing gum tree to make sure that we could keep that gum tree and not disturb its roots. So we worked out the structure of the deck to work around the water tanks, again, starting with the premise of sustainability from day one. And so here also looking at design for the future. How can this be flexible in the future? How do the zones or the spaces work? And here's the ground floor plan. I'm not going to go in detail about the planning. But suffice to say we've centralized the services to make sure that there's minimal service runs, we've allowed lots of flexibility within these rooms, a lot of non load bearing walls to allow for flexibility down the track. Upstairs, again, this flexibility of zoning or not zoning, there's doorways built into walls that can be implemented down the track. Here's a section of the building, the carport doubles as a play space because we may not need a car. We don't really use it much now, but you may need it to charge your electric car here's the water tanks, here is the green roof on the bungalow down track. Here is a solar analysis of how we looked at how's the sun going to hit the rammed earth walls in the future to make sure that we optimize the sun. So the shape of the windows, the position of the windows is designed for views for sun, and also cross ventilation. So I'm going to just skip through these because there's quite a lot to go through. But there's cross ventilation, this building has been designed using both passive solar and solar Passive House principles. Here's the the foundations, I had to take particular care to make sure the demolition guy didn't take everything up. And here's the slab that we recycled. Here, the boulders that we recycle, there's a lot of floaters in our region of Northcote. Here's the rammed earth walls, again, lower embodied energy, form of thermal mass. And here's the structure going up. So to build these walls were in encapsulated in insulated shell. And here's the structure. So here these are the northern windows, so we had to use, high northern windows to capture the sun, we did the analysis that just said there's no point, putting windows along this edge, you need to lift them up to optimize your solar gain. Here's a courtyard again, we had to step back in to get the sun through here. Sorry, skipping through extensive installation done very thoroughly. This is the building wrap that provides the internal layer that gives you the air tightness for the passive for the Passive House principles. Here's the rammed earth getting connected to the rap. Here's the ventilation system. So this is the system that brings in the fresh air 24/7 into our home, when the home is at 20 degrees at nighttime without heating, it will only drop a couple of degrees overnight, and the 2 degree air will get pre heated and brought into the home 100% fresh air pre heated to almost within half a degree of the internal temperature, which is fantastic, through a heat recovery system. Here is more rap photos. Here is the building from the back. And here is our pressure test. So here we are. In anticipation, we pressurize the building, we had to do a quite a bit of work, I was actually not a passive certified designer at the time. And so there was a little bit blind leading the blind, but we did it did our best and we managed to get to the point six air changes. A key component I believe a sustainable future for architecture is testing and monitoring. Here are the thermal imagery that we've been taking. This actually shows we can see these little blue lines, they are the thermal bridging of the spaces that you get with your double glazing in Australia, not many companies offer warm edge spaces, unfortunately. Here is the winter performance. So this is the outdoor temperature you can see hovering very low, here is the indoor temperature without heating. Here's the indoor temperature, that is a slight bit of heating on at that point. But you can see here that some spaces were dropping a little bit lower. But generally speaking with temperatures, even when it was down at about 1 degree, we're still maintaining 18 degree's in the main living spaces. Again, more monitoring. Here's a picture of the building. And this is from that courtyard, the middle courtyard. Here's an ironbark now this ironbark is part of this the long term strategy. We are looking East from the West. This week, these windows have inter blinds built in to stop the massive amount of heat from the Western sun. And so this will become a shade element in the future. These are the results, I'm not going to go into detail. But basically the bottom line is this building's very net energy positive. So we actually run export on average 9 kilowatts per day, over the whole year. So in Summer, we're probably exporting upwards of 30 kilowatts, with a 5 kilowatt system, not a big system. So I'll just quickly flick through these, what still needs to be done. Well, obviously, we just believe we're just a stepping stone all building should be as good as ours or better. If we do compare this idea of what Dick was talking about, the idea that we need to be way beyond minimum, here is the 7 star house model than the Passive House, it would require 15 kilowatts of energy if you take into account the thermal bridges and things allowed by standard 7 star house. Whereas the MM house actually only needs 2.9 kilowatts of solar, to become energy neutral. So, I won't go through that too much. This is the Passive House principles. What is the problem lack of a little bit of understanding. And this is my last point that I'll be making, which is that cars get manufactured, prototype tested, and then they go to market. Everyone that's a professional gets tested, housing gets built, and then it's called a sustainable project. The missing link is the testing. So what do we need to do we need to have verifiable, calibrated testing. I think in the future, I think that that Your Home is a is a really good stepping stone in that respect, because it allows people to be armed with the right tools and for the punters and students to understand what goes into embedded sustainability. And we believe that all high profile projects should be obliged to publish their results. This will make a substantial change just like Dick was talking about, we need a quantum shift. Here's a few photos just to finish off on. This is Sustainable House Day a few years ago when we could all talk to people in person. Thank you. Thank you, Luke. Sorry for racing through that that Anna (Renew) That was a bit telegraphic but not to worry. Thanks for. Thanks for whizzing us through that. We are running slightly behind time, but not to worry. So thank you, everybody, for those very informative presentations. Now we'll get stuck into our q&a session. So if you would all like to turn your cameras on panelists, that would be great. We have lots of questions submitted by you, our viewers when you registered, we'll try to get to as many of them as we can. We also have a small army of Your Home team members behind the scenes who will be answering your questions via zooms q&a feature, so keep your eye on that too. And I believe that you can see the questions and answers that other people submit as well. So some great questions that have come in have been answered already using that that techniques, so we may not cover them live but um, yeah, please do dig into the q&a answered questions and keep sending through your new ones. So, here's the first question just to get us all going what are the most cost effective ways to improve energy efficiency and sustainability in your home? Not a I'm not a small one who'd like to get started Unknown Speaker 53:53 I'll have a quick go that, there are so many kinds of low hanging fruit opportunities that you can lock in. So a lot relate to passive design. You know, some of the principles Luke was talking about. Good orientation is often free. Wait, okay, glazing, how much, all of this sets up the structure for how your house performs and it's it's so important. Other opportunities like water efficient showerheads, you know, that can actually really significantly impact on your hot water use and therefore your energy use. So there are a whole lot of things that are really simple and cheap, that just should be locked in and Your Home is a good resource for kind of working out what those things are. Efficient appliances is another and also looking at materials. So there are so many kind of ecologically better or preferred materials that don't cost any extra. I mean, one big example, low carbon concrete you know, depends where you live. But often you can get that for the same cost as the regular product. So, yeah, I'm sure others have things to add as well. But that's my two cents worth. Unknown Speaker 55:13 Yeah, I'd probably add to that. I mean, if you're building, it's different if you're renovating or building new. But in all cases, I think that being clever with the floor plan. You can build less and build it well. Look at what you can recycle and look at the long term effect of recycling versus getting it perfect if you rebuild. So that's always a really tricky one renovate or I mean, it's sometimes decisions made by the Heritage advisors. But I would say that, clearly, we should be building probably smaller. And also thinking about how the landscape interacts, because a lot of buildings forget that they might have overshadow landscape, which then the landscape becomes less productive. So when you're analyzing a site, it should be not just about getting the sun into the building, it should be about sun into the landscape. Because ultimately, we know that if we can reduce the food miles and we can produce even just small amount of food on our each residential plot, it makes a big difference. Because you know, carting lettuces around doesn't really make sense. It's not fresh, and it's a lot of embodied energy. Unknown Speaker 56:32 Anybody else want to jump in on that question? Before we move to the next one. Unknown Speaker 56:35 I might, just to just to point out that in, in Your Home in the affordability section, in the chapter, there's a good study cited by Sustainability Victoria, and it goes through a number of different upgrade measures, you know, starting from a low flow showerhead, and it has, you know, the average cost of different measures, and then the average payback period. And it you know, it goes through a range of different things like sealing insulation, efficient lighting, efficient heating, draft sealing, efficient washing machine, etc, etc. So, yeah, jump into the Your Home website and look at the affordability section to see some cost effective ways to improve energy efficiency. Unknown Speaker 57:24 Absolutely. And I might just also suggest that quite a lot of sustainable designers, they can be used not just to design a house, but as consultants. For many will act as a consultant to assess an existing house and to help you with what steps might be most cost effective to increase the energy efficiency of your home by as much as possible. We actually have an article in the current issue of Sanctuary 56, which is a case study of project that that did exactly that. So viewers might be interested to read that. So getting on to the next question, somebody has asked, does the book cover how to go about going all electric and putting solar on an existing house? How much might it cost, where to start and so forth? And there's another question that would tie in with this, which is how does the concept of a zero carbon home relying on renewable energy work with people who times are not suitable for solar installation? So how do you do it? And what what do you do if you can't do it? Unknown Speaker 58:38 I'll make the point that, yeah, I mean, it's a really good point about homes that aren't suitable for solar. And, you know, a lot of apartments could be in that bucket as well, because it's a lot more complex. So the zero carbon chapter does talk about that and nd the key is really like reducing your energy use, and then you can think about other options like green power. And that is still really important. So, we recognize that not everybody has the opportunity to install solar. But there are other ways to deal with that. I think the zero energy zero carbon chapter in Your Home is a key resource there. Unknown Speaker 59:31 I suppose I could try and answer the first bit. We have a policy of specifying electrical appliances and specifying out gas, because it's pretty much impossible to have zero emissions if you have gas on a property. And there are more than enough options for all electric in terms of cooking and hot water and so on. And often, a building might not have the amount of solar access for passive solar that we would like. But often the roof does. And you can borrow some of that solar energy from the roof and use some smart technologies like hydronic heating, to bring that into the house. But where there is just no solar access, and some years ago, SEED, the Government agency in New South Wales did some mapping of solar access and found that there are about a third of sites in New South Wales that were unsuitable for rooftop PV. And I'm thinking that might vary around the country, the flatter cities would have a higher proportion, but there's always going to be some and you just have to say, well, if until the grid goes totally green, we'll just select electricity from the grid that is green. Unknown Speaker 1:00:56 And I know there's certainly plenty of tips in Your Home on energy efficiency, so reducing the amount ofelectricity that you need in the first place, which is a great way to get around the problem before you even encounter it. Would anybody else like to comment on that? On going all electric adding solar question, or are we done? Okay, how has Your Home incorporated locally specific design and building information with respect to the fact that climates vary around Australia. I know, this was touched on a little bit in the presentation. So that would be great to hear a little bit more. Unknown Speaker 1:01:47 I don't want to hog this. But this is something we had to really consider because it's very easy for a publication or an information source to become South East Australian centric. And, and there's great danger in that, leaves people disenfranchised, in swathes of ignorance in other parts of the country, and, you know, subject to who knows what information. So it was very important that the information was crafted and tailored to cover the whole country. And there are a number of specific techniques, for instance, dealing with condensation in walls in Melbourne is pretty much the reverse of what you do in Darwin. And so all of those kinds of details had to be tailored. And so, you know, I'd encourage people that are in the top end or broom, or, you know, Alice Springs, Mount Isa, wherever, not to assume as many people do that it's just another Sydney Melbourne thing, what would they know? That's not the case, there are a number of people that have contributed to this, who will experienced in, you know, the hot, arid and the hot, tropical climates and has been tailored to suit. Unknown Speaker 1:03:07 Yeah, I just add to that, to have a look at the design for climate sheet, which is in the passive design section, which kind of gives an overview of what the key strategies might be different climates. And also to reiterate what Dick said, one of the specific instructions for the update coming from the Your Home Consultative Committee was to actually make sure that the spoke more to those kind of Northern locations, so that it really is a guide for the whole of Australia. Unknown Speaker 1:03:41 Angela, would you like to talk a little bit about the Design For Place house plans that are included in Your Home? Unknown Speaker 1:03:47 Sure, yeah. So we have, we have a suite of free house designs that are available on our on our website to download called Design For Place. So they have all been architecturally designed to, so there's sort of three three main styles for different size houses. And they've been for each design they've been rated to achieve at least 7 stars in I think it's the eight different climate zones across Australia. And the pack for a particular climate zone will have modifications to that design that are appropriate to get the 7 stars in that climate. So they're a really, really good resource. We do have two case studies on our website that are builds that have used Design For Place plans, and there are case studies that cover the breadth of Australia in all eight climate zones across Australia. Unknown Speaker 1:04:56 Thank you. That's great. I think the Design For Place plans are a fantastic resource too. Next question is probably for you, Graham. What are the main things I need to know to build in a bushfire prone area for both bushfire resilience and also making sure my house is energy efficient and sustainable? How can I do both? Unknown Speaker 1:05:17 Yeah, that's a very good question. And comments have been made by Dick and Caitlin already and I think the the importance is that many of the energy efficiency requirements are also going to work for us for bushfire. So a good example is the extent to which we can reduce breezes that are pushing directly under doors and gaps and things like that, working on some of those things, and actually improving those areas will actually stop embers penetrating into the house. Now, where you do need ventilation, you can use the flyscreen materials and keep the gaps quite narrow. So it's not like you don't where you need to have flow you can you have to have no flow. But ember protection is actually achieved where we can keep the gaps very small, where they're maintained and actually protected. And importance of good sacking and good insulating materials. And working through those issues of making sure you don't get the condensation. But also making sure that you protect the the fabric and the external part of the building. And stop embers penetrating. Embers represent about 80% of house losses. The closer you get to the bush, though, the more intense the protection measures have to be. And that's when the costs start to go up and also where we actually have to put in tighter and tighter requirements. So they're quite, you know, worked together in many cases. Sometimes the challenge of a North face is an issue, but even then we can work around those issues of making sure that we get passive solar into the home that's necessary and at the same time using materials that protect us from bushfire. Unknown Speaker 1:07:13 Great, Dick actually wrote an article for Sanctuary I forget how many issues ago, three or four issues ago on designing exactly what we've just been talking about Graham what you've just been talking about designing for both bushfire safety and, and energy efficiency, and sustainability. So I encourage people to go hunting for that if they're interested in further information on that topic. Unknown Speaker 1:07:39 One interesting thing about bushfires, and I suppose air quality is that passive home or Passive House brings its air in through the heat recovery system, which can actually be upgraded with a high end filter that will purify the air to a great degree. And obviously a Passive House is also very airtight already and less likely to have the cracks for the for the ember attack. But I'm not going to step on Graham's area there. But in general, I think when you have all that smoke fallout in the city, we actually were quite lucky in that the air quality inside the house was better than the air quality outside. Yeah, Unknown Speaker 1:08:24 I think that's right, I think we need to recognize that these things aren't always in opposition to each other that they can be complimentary. And that bushfire protection measures in general, are passive in nature as well. So we're not using very expensive active systems to drive bushfire protection. We try to use passive systems and getting them right in conjunction with good air quality, good energy efficiency, condensation control can all all work as long as it's carefully planned for. Unknown Speaker 1:09:03 Absolutely. Well, thanks for your comment Luke, that leads me neatly into my next question from one of our viewers, which goes as follows: Is the German Passivhaus standard suitable for Australian conditions? Are the Passive House design principles better suited to cold climates and are Australian Passive Houses therefore more likely to be faced with the problem of removing excess heat? Unknown Speaker 1:09:26 Well, I think I'll answer part of that. So in terms of Passive House, I live in a house which is effectively running on a Passive House system. However, we have designed it for this Melbourne climate to actually still have purging like you would have with a passive solar house. So I think that the two need to work in conjunction Passive House is based on science therefore it can work in all environments, but there is a requirement to remove you humidity in the other climates but I might hand over to Dick on that, because I think he's probably more of an expert. Unknown Speaker 1:10:09 Well, I don't know that. But we've got a bit of experience going four certified Passive Houses and several more under construction. And what we've found is that the physics is quite simple. Heat flows in. heat flows out. If you're trying to maintain an interior with a comfortable temperature, and the external temperature is either too high or too low. If you've got an official thermal envelope, it'll do the same job. There might be subtle differences, but essentially, it's just about controlling the heat flow. So the big change that we have seen in Australian Passive Houses as compared to older European ones, is that we have much bigger shading elements, a shading is really powerfully control, because they will overheat if they are not shaded properly. And it's something that back in the 90s they didn't worry too much about in in Europe, because they didn't have hot summers. Well, that's turned around. And now they're kind of looking at what we're doing and going, okay, that's a good idea. Yeah, when need leaves, we need shading devices, and, and so on. However, having said that, it is true that every one of our Passive Houses has what I call 'minuscule' air conditioning systems. I call them 'minuscule' because if I say 'small' to the average air conditioning contractor, they go, "Oh, you mean 7 kilowatts?" I go, "No, have you got anything in the 1.5 kilowatt range?" "No." So we have this constant argument every time you know, we usually settle on about 2.5, which is twice what's needed, but that's the smallest aircon in the range. So and why is that there? It's just that in heatwave conditions to give that resilience to suck the heat the excess heat out of the building. If you've got 45 degree days and 35 degree nights, there is no way to dump that heat too. And so you need a mechanical system to pull it out. And obviously it's running off the rooftop PV so it's still a netzero house but but there is that one little proviso that that to give it the heatwave resilience we do use a little aircon system. Unknown Speaker 1:12:28 Yeah, I think I'd The only thing I would add to that, Dick, is the unlearning of the way some people operate a house. And I think that with a Passive House one needs to have sort of, you don't need a degree, but you just need to understand that, you know, you're running a highly efficient system and therefore, don't leave it open, because you think it's a nice afternoon and it's suddenly you know, 28-30 degrees when there's going to be a heatwave tomorrow. So it's sort of just a little bit of planning ahead. But generally speaking, we find that our home, we use, we recycled the old air conditioning units from the old house and we do occasionally use it when we've been away and we haven't been able to purge overnight or if there's been extensive heatwave, because we certainly do have a different climate and we have a bigger diurnal range, but it is definitely applicable and anyone that comes into a Passive House or lives in one will never go back. Unknown Speaker 1:13:31 I call that the Jeremy Clarkson effect. Some years ago, and that show that I've very rarely watched, he was so, this is before EVs, this is hybrids, he was so scathing of Toyota Priuses that he said, "I can make a Toyota Prius use more fuel than a BMW M3." And he proceeded to drive this press around a racetrack and 150 kilometers an hour or something, which is not what it was ever designed to do. So he was using thing stupidly and got a stupid result. So yeah, understanding how to use the building how to work with it and using it to work with nature will counter the Jeremy Clarkson effect every time. Unknown Speaker 1:14:16 Thanks Dick. Somebody submitted a question about, the best way to, what's the best way to ventilate your airtight home? Which I think is a great segue into maybe just talking about the new condensation chapter in Your Home and just the fact that with more people becoming more and more aware of the benefits of an airtight home and building them the accompanying issue of condensation and ventilation that's coming on with it and how that's being managed. Would someone who knows more than me about it take over from here? Unknown Speaker 1:14:57 Probably fallse to me. Yeah, okay, so we're moving towards the principles that Passive House has recognized for 30 years. And that is that, in certain situations, it is impossible to stop condensation forming. So it's simply a case of identifying where it will form and then having that outside of the materials that would allow it to migrate into the house and cause mold to grow. And this is where is kind of fundamentally different between Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney, than it is in Townsville, Darwin and Broom, because the the condensation issues kind of work in reverse, you know, and maybe there's an awkward zone in the middle where it could go both ways. But nonetheless, the systems will still work. And the building code is has finally recognized this. I mean, it's kind of odd that that the National Construction Code has gone for so many years without addressing this adequately. And so you know, it's great that it is, but we still will get a better result by adopting the best practice, according to your construction system. So I can't sit here and say, you always do this, this this, this, because it will depend. Are you building in hempcrete? Are you building light timber frame and weatherboards? Or, you know, like, what are you building it out of? Where are you building? There's so many different factors that need to be factored in. But, you know, without sounding like a broken record, it's in the book. Unknown Speaker 1:16:44 Excellent. Luke, do you have comments about ventilating an airtight home? The best way to do it? Unknown Speaker 1:16:51 Well, yeah, certainly, I mean, we've using the principles of the Passive House do which is using a heat recovery unit. And we've used the principles like Dick talked about with the building envelope. So in Melbourne's climate, one would have the most permeable layer on the outside of your stud wall. And then on the inside, you saw that during my presentation is a wrap there, that stops the vapor pressure getting into the wall. And then to bring fresh air into the house, because we've got it so tight, each room has a small little duct that has trickle ventilation that brings in adequate air to ensure that the CO2 levels do not rise. And in fact, probably better than most homes that are leaky, because they tend to have short circuits and therefore have lots of hotspots for CO2. So our house is constantly pressurized, and the air is constantly being taken out by this box that sits under the staircase. Someone calls it the magic box. But you know, it's called a heat recovery unit, which is running 24/7 uses 28 watts of power only. But at the same time, it's pretty much like having a window open without losing the heat in winter, or getting the heat in summer. So it's it's a brilliant piece of sort of low tech, high tech. If I say because it's just a little fan motor, but it's done very well. This one's particularly particularly good. Yeah. Thank you. Unknown Speaker 1:18:18 What he said. Unknown Speaker 1:18:22 The next question, I think is I think it's a lovely question and I wish the answer was, 'it's compulsory', but I know it's not. How much are builders and architects who design and build off the plan apartments required to look at this guide? Unknown Speaker 1:18:44 When I change my name from Dick Clare to Dictator! (Laughter) Unknown Speaker 1:18:52 This would be a good segue, a good starting point to talk about the training programs that that Your Home has been the basis for though, Caitlin. Unknown Speaker 1:19:07 Some of us would like to establish an environmental dictatorship. But no, in all seriousness, what we want to do is inspire and sort of be a catalyst for change. And there are four training programs that are sort of foundationally based on Your Home. So the first I believe was HIA Greensmart. Or maybe it was the Building Designers one, I don't know Dick, you might know, but both of those very early on develop training programs around Your Home. Then there is the Master Builders Association with their Green Living Program. So all of these are continuing professional development programs for designers and builders in the industry. And then the most recent is the Livability Center for Real Estate. So we had a question about real estate earlier, but that program is training real estate's to kind of understand what these sustainability features are in a home and why they're important. So that they can speak to clients about that, and kind of that, that really helps them, you know, creates that whole ecosystem of demand and education. And Your Home also is a foundational reference in TAFE, and University courses. So that's really important, too. So, it has had a significant impact in transitioning the industry. And we really hope that continues. I suppose there's a difference between regulation and best practice. And I guess Your Home is all about this practice regulations about bringing that minimum bar up, and stopping worst practice from happening. But Your Home is at the other end of the spectrum, which is really about, look what's possible. Let's take you through the steps and, you know, show you how to do that. Unknown Speaker 1:21:07 Absolutely. Graham, do you have any thoughts on that in relation to bushfires? Unknown Speaker 1:21:12 I think the same principles apply. I mean, clearly, a fire resistant home and a house that survives a bushfire is also a sustainable home. And I think that's something that people need to keep in mind. So spending a bit of time on, really getting those extra principles that are in Your Home, because there are things in there that are over and above what the minimum standards are. Things like gutter guards are not required. And yet, you could be in a very significant and tree environment, where you're getting a lot of materials in your garden. So rather than having to get up every year, and clean it out, and spending either the time, money or risk in doing that, you could put something in that is acting in a passive way and provides that long term sustainability. And of course, that also then protects gutters and the rest of the systems from rusting out. And all the rest of that gets associated. So I think the principles that Caitlin was talking about are right. And in terms of training, there are a number of training areas around in the Australian Building Codes Board has introduced new training regimes for architects and others to get, and that includes bushfire. So there's certainly plenty of avenues to actually get that training. Unknown Speaker 1:22:39 I think the genius of Your Home is also that it doesn't only speak to professionals in the industry, but also to the general public to homeowners. And it's it's a really great way for homeowners or prospective homeowners to educate themselves in advance so that they know what questions to ask of their designers and their builders and all the professionals that they deal with, with home renovation or build. Unknown Speaker 1:23:06 Yeah, I should just mention quickly, that information and communication strategy was a really central part of Your Home from the very beginning. So initially, it was based on research with all those intended user groups to kind of say, what are your information needs? How do you like to learn? And that sort of then created the kind of format and informed everything really about what Your Home would cover andw hat kind of format it would be. And that sort of approach I think, is continued, that sort of information layering strategy. So no matter what you're looking for, you might want an overview, you might not know much, or you might be a bit of an expert yourself, but you're just looking to drill down into the detail. All of that is possible with Your Home. So that was a really important principle. Unknown Speaker 1:23:55 Yeah. Thank you. So we probably only got time for one more question to the panel. But before I jump to that question, a very quick one for Angela about images and copy from Your Home. Can it be what's the what's the story with licensing and using of images and copy from Your Home? Can it be used by people on websites and and so forth? Unknown Speaker 1:24:16 Yes, it can. So we have a Creative Commons copyright license, which means that the content can be can be used by people and reproduce by people however they like, so long as they attribute it. And we do have copyright information on our website, there's a copyright button at the bottom of every page. So it gives examples of how to attribute correctly there's only one, there's only one exception, which is in situations where there's third party ownership for example, if if a particular photo has been taken by a photographer, and we've cited that photographer then that the intellectual property sits with them. But that's described in there. And that's the majority of it is is all creative commons and able to be used by anyone. Unknown Speaker 1:24:16 Excellent. Okay, final question. What is your one top recommendation for our viewers tonight when they're starting out on a build or renovation? Nice broad one who wants to start? Unknown Speaker 1:25:31 I could start with that one. And that is plan carefully. Take your time and think through the issues and then try and make sure that you're actually covering all of the issues that actually interact and intersperse themselves on to your design. And also, be clear in your mind of what you're trying to achieve. I think Luke's comments about timeframes are really important considerations. So what are we doing in the next five years? What are we doing in 15 years? What are we doing? Do we still want to live here when we're retired? And I think planning ahead is a really good thing to do. So that would be my broad picture contribution. Unknown Speaker 1:26:13 Thank you very much, Graham. Unknown Speaker 1:26:16 Well, I'll go next. Because pretty much what Graham said. (Laughing) I think it's just great minds think alike. I think it's really important to do your research before you start. So if you're thinking of starting a renovation or building project, just really thinking through what those opportunities are, reading up. I would encourage people to really used Your Home for that, because that's what it's intended for. To really get a sense of, you know, go and look at the, the solar calculators go and read all about passive design, just get a bit of an overview. And then that will really help you make sure that you're actually capturing all the opportunities and locking in all the good things. Unknown Speaker 1:27:12 Thanks, Caitlin. Luke, what's your top tip? Unknown Speaker 1:27:21 Well, obviously, as before, as everyone else said. But maybe what I'd add to that is the aspect where you're looking at things and the overall picture. Obviously, we're big on on that, and we feel that it's really important to look at those timeframes. But in another way, maybe don't get concerned that you can't do it all at once, it's still worth having a master plan. It's still worth saying, Well, I can't do this now. But I'm don't want to snooker myself down the track. So obviously, if you've done your research, you like these ideas, and you've, you've worked out "Well I just need a little footprint now." Think about how this can be implemented over time. And yeah, how you're building is part of the neighborhood, what will the neighborhood look like in the future? Will the laneway be populated? So should you face both ways? Will the front of your house become a workshop? You know, how can you make spaces multifunctional? I would say that's a key aspect, this ability to adapt, builds resilience, so that we're not stuck with terrible building stock that has to be pulled down and start afresh. Unknown Speaker 1:28:43 Thank you, Luke. What about you, Dick? Unknown Speaker 1:28:46 Well, I was gonna say run away screaming and have a cold shower. My colleagues and friends have pretty much ticked off the list. Money is always a problem for people because everybody really has champagne taste on a beer budget. So I guess, thinking about how you want your money to be spent, what kind of legacy you want to leave the world and Luke just touched on this, that the average lifespan of Australian buildings is 42 years and most buildings seem, when I look around, apart from our you know, really big ones in the heritage buildings, seem to last a lot less than that. And that to me is ridiculous. We should be building buildings that have that adaptability to find new uses, new leases of life as the decades roll by. That is still functional, still current in terms of their ecological impact and still loved in terms of the non temporal aesthetic, you know? So did someone say Hamptons? (Laughing) Unknown Speaker 1:30:22 Let's throw to Angela for the final word. Unknown Speaker 1:30:24 Thanks, Anna. So my top tip is to engage an energy assessor early. There are so many people that use the energy rating stage as just a tick off before you put your paperwork in for approval. If you get an energy assessor involved early as you're making those design decisions, then you don't get to that point where you've worked everything out and you've gone through that emotional journey and you've got it right, you've got it just right, because then if you go to an energy assessor, it's really hard to change it. But if you're working hand in hand as you're designing with an energy assessor, and I would recommend a NatHERS Accredited Assessor, as the ones that can be most clearly verified to be doing quality work, you can you can incorporate things that are cost effective, and give you the most bang for buck in terms of energy efficiency. From the outset. Unknown Speaker 1:31:33 Yes, heartily concur. You okay, Dick? Unknown Speaker 1:31:37 I'm not gonna use the 'H word'. The alarm goes off anytime anyone says that. (Laughing) Unknown Speaker 1:31:43 That's all the questions we have time for tonight I'm afraid, folks. Before we wind up I'll quickly hand back to Angela just to announce the lucky winners of the three copies of Your Home that are on offer for those who submitted questions tonight. Unknown Speaker 1:31:58 So we have three copies of the of the book that they have been awarded to three people who submitted questions early. So that would be Doug Murchison, Nick Bamford and Surely Proctor. We will email you Doug, Nick and Shirley to to arrange delivery. Thank you for your questions, everybody. And thanks very much for coming along tonight. Unknown Speaker 1:32:31 Thank you, and congratulations you three. Thank you also to our panelists tonight, Angela, Caitlin, Dick ,Graham and Luke, for sharing your time and expertise. Plus the Your Home team members helping out with questions behind the scenes. And thank you to all of you our attendees for tuning into this Sustainable House Day session. If you haven't already, you can check out all of this year's participating homes and watch recordings of the rest of the Sustainable House Day program. And soon this one as well at sustainablehouseday.com. And you can explore Your Home online and order your own printed copy at yourhome.gov.au. And one final little plug for Sanctuary again. If you'd like to read more about the Your Home Story, the upcoming issue of Sanctuary features a great article by Dick and Caitlin on how it all came about. The issue will be available in newsagents from late November or grab a copy from our website to sanctuary.renew.org.au. Thank you again and good night.
28 September 2021
New Your Home available now!
The Your Home website has been updated to the 6th edition and the new book is now available to order.
What’s new in this edition?
Your Home - Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable homes - has undergone a major technical and editorial update. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources coordinated a team of building experts, industry professionals, scientific editors and graphic designers to update the Your Home website and book.
The new Your Home continues to provide independent authoritative advice in a refreshed format.
In addition to the great content in previous versions, the 71 chapter Your Home contains new and updated content on:
- building in bushfire-prone areas
- how to achieve Passive House standards
- building using hemp masonry
- renewable energy systems and batteries
- condensation and airtightness
- energy-efficiency in apartments and apartment building common area upgrades
- building homes that are resilient to a changing climate
Buy the book
Purchase the book via the ordering portal. The book comes in two formats:
- The standard Your Home soft cover book for $44.00 (incl. GST) excluding shipping.
- The 20th anniversary Your Home limited edition hard cover book for $66.00 (incl. GST) excluding shipping.
Bulk orders (soft cover only) are available when you buy 10 or more copies. Discounts depend on quantities purchased and range from 15-25%.
The content in the standard soft cover book and the limited edition hard cover book is the same.
Follow Your Home
Follow our social media channels to get the latest on Your Home:
- Twitter: @energygovau
- Instagram: @energy.gov.au
- Facebook: Energy.gov.au
- LinkedIn: Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
If you would like to help us spread the word and promote the new Your Home, please contact us for access to our media pack and additional material.