Case Study

Newcastle Home

This sophisticated two-storey home is nestled in the heart of a climate zone known for its warm and humid summers and short, cool winters. We enhanced its design by selecting materials that adapt to seasonal changes and compliment the home’s Palm Springs style aesthetic.

Modern Coastal

The Building Designer opted for lighter colours on the external walls and roof to help reflect summer’s harsh sun, whilst the NatHERS thermal performance assessment concluded that a combination of single clear, low e (low emission) and double-glazed windows will reduce the home’s overall heating and cooling loads.

Solar panels and a 5000L rainwater tank were powerful factors in transforming this project into a BASIX-certified home. 

Designer: Torren Bell Building Design 

Location: Newcastle NSW 

NCC Climate Zone: 5 – Warm Temperate 

NatHERS Star Rating: 6. 1 Stars 

BASIX: Deemed to Satisfy Compliance  

Solar: 5Kw  

Rainwater Tank: 5000L  

The Design

This beautifully designed modern coastal two storey, 4 bedroom home with outdoor pool and entertainment area is located in the heart of Newcastle.   

Climate Considerations

Australia has 8 main climate zones, as defined by the National Construction Code (NCC 2019). Each of these climate zones have different design and construction requirements. 

Newcastle falls into the NCC Climate Zone 5, which is a warm temperate described as having four distinct seasons. Summer and winter can exceed human comfort range, whilst spring and autumn are ideal.  Although winter can range from mild to cold with low humidity, summers are predominantly hot to very hot with moderate humidity.

Given both summer and winter can exceed the ‘human comfort range’ it is important to ensure the house is protected from unwanted solar gain throughout the summer months, but also able to receive the warmth of the sun during the winter months. These are important factors that must be considered by all parties during the design process.  

NatHERS Assessment Results

Thermal performance is the amount of heating or cooling energy that make the interiors of a home comfortable. In other words, it is a measurement of how efficiently your home can retain heat. A building with good thermal performance will need less energy to keep the insides warm and comfortable. (CSIRO)

Note: This multi-dwelling complex was assessed under the NCC2019 energy efficiency regulations, prior to 1 October 2023.

Thermal Performance Solutions

Using lighter colours on the roof and external walls not only enhances the fresh, palm springs design of this home, it also assists with the overall cooling load in summer.  

Light colours reflect the sun whilst darker colours retain more heat and are better suited to colder climate zones.  

Opting for concrete slab on ground with a combination of polished timber, carpets, and tiles as well as incorporating ceiling fans also improves the ‘cooling load’ during the summer months. 

And finally, the inclusion of single, double, and low E glazing lessens the demand for heating and cooling energy to maintain comfortable conditions all year round. 

NatHERS Thermal Performance Solutions

Household Features