Keith Huntington of EcoRate Ltd is a registered architect involved in passive solar design and the objective analysis of buildings using thermal simulation modelling.
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As an incentive to sustainable housing, in mid-April the ANZ Bank announced that it is offering reductions to some of its interest rates and fees, subject to particular conditions, if the property being financed has a minimum Homestar rating of 6 stars.
It is coming to be accepted that there is a personal and, to a lesser extent, a national benefit in having energy generation and water collection within the family home, but the conversation has not yet extended to applying this thinking to a co-operative community setting.
When reviewing advertisements and promotional materials it appears that photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are promoted, with solar water panels being essentially ignored — why?
The thermal performance of a house is determined by the complex interaction of a variety of major influences. With higher performance being desired, and demanded, it becomes more important that an objective measure is used for an assessment to be meaningful.
Recently there seems to be a developing interest in locating domestic aluminium windows to align with the thermal insulation zone of exterior walls. This interest seems to be focused on thermally broken window frames and the by-passing of the thermal break which occurs with current window installation details.
When there is talk of thermal insulation 'R-values' soon come into the conversation, but how do they relate to the actual thermal comfort of a building? And are they the primary determinant of the thermal comfort of a home?