There has never been a better time to buy your first home with the Queensland First Home Owners' Grant increasing to $20,000 for all eligible contracts signed between 1 July 2016 and 31 December 2017.
A green house will not only help the environment, but also help lighten the burden on your wallet.
Green homes are smarter homes, using less energy, gas and water to operate while saving you money and providing you with a healthier, more comfortable living environment.
Sustainable design has become mandatory in all states and territories following the government’s increase of the minimum energy-efficiency standard under the National Construction Code (formerly the Building Code of Australia) for new housing, from five stars to six.
This ensures that standards are kept with regards to sustainable homes – one that’s energy and water-efficient, has reduced greenhouse gas emissions and is as green as possible.
Energy efficiency of houses is measured through a star rating system using an accredited assessment tool, with the worst performing buildings achieving zero through to a 10-star rating for a building that needs no artificial heating or cooling.
Your building designer or architect should be able to advise on how to best achieve a six-star rating, but these would serve as great starting points:
- Did you know that heating and cooling accounts for up to 40% of the average household energy use? Ask your building designer/architect about passive thermal design, and how to best insulate and draft-proof your home so that it remains comfortable and efficient all year round.
- Solar water heaters use 50% to 80% less energy than conventional electric heaters and are eligible for government rebates.
- If solar hot water is not an option, heat pumps are a good alternative. They take hot air out of the atmosphere and convert it into hot water through a heat exchanger. These use up to 70% less energy than conventional electric water heaters, are about the same size, and are also eligible for rebates.
- New appliances now come with star ratings for water and energy. The higher the star rating of your appliances, the more efficient they are at saving you money on bills.
- Cross flow air ventilation – Cool your house down in summer rather than relying on energy-draining air-conditioners and fans.
- Glazing and awning requirements for North-facing windows will help keep out the summer sun but allow the winter sun in.
Keep in mind that these are only the minimum requirements, and you can increase the energy efficiency of your home by incorporating additional design features, appliances, materials and techniques.
Find out more about our Sustainability initiatives now.
For advice and information on building your own home, feel free to contact us now to speak to one of our Project Sales Managers today.