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Design for 7 Stars

Building for 7 stars doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. Simple design features and material choices make a big difference to energy efficiency and a home’s energy rating. Passive design strategies help reduce energy consumption, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.

In this article, we provide tips on how to achieve compliance with the recently adopted NCC2022 7- star energy efficiency regulations. 

Did you Know? According to the Australia Building Codes Board (ABCB) currently around 90% of new home designs are assessed using NatHERS. 

Design for 7 Stars

  • Designing for 7 stars at its very foundation begins with good design and orientation.
    • These two elements are crucial to reducing the costs required to get some homes to 7 stars, and beyond.

 

  • Designing for the local climate should consider shade and solar access, tailored to tropical, temperate, or cool climates.
    • This approach will allow minimal adjustments to other building components like eave width and cross ventilation.

 

  • The location of the house on the block significantly impacts the thermal performance of the home.

 

  • Double and triple glazing or coatings on windows are also beneficial to enhance your new build.
    • The costs have significantly decreased in recent years, with a wide array of options now on the market.
    • Remember, windows need to suit the climate, so sizing and placement (including shading) is an important consideration.

 

  • To achieve a 7-star rating at a reasonable cost, consider incorporating additional internal doors into the design.
    • This will allow for more precise application of mechanical heating and cooling estimates in NatHERS.
    • Doors can be placed at the end of corridors, at the bottom of stairs, or near media and activity rooms that are used infrequently.
  • Depending on the climate, ratings may also be improved by increasing the R value of wall, floor and ceiling insulation.
    • Boosting your R-value can have a significant impact, and you can also expand insulation to additional areas such as beneath the slab, the garage, and internal walls, particularly in unconditioned spaces like laundries and bathrooms. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to avoid increasing the risk of condensation.
    • An extractor fan can help reduce the risk of condensation.

 

  • Include Ceiling Fans – when it comes to improving the comfort and functionality of a home, one often overlooked solution is the installation of ceiling fans.
    • Ceiling fans are not just a stylish addition to the interior decor but also provide a range of practical benefits from noise reduction to climate control.

For further information and resources on NCC 2022 please see the below links:

 

Please also contact the Victorian Building Authority or visit Queensland’s Modern Homes Standards for more information.

NCC 2022

Read more about the recently adopted NCC 2022 House Energy Efficiency regulations here.