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Thermal Assessment

Energy Efficient Rammed EarthWe specialise in maximising the performance of Earthen Houses through thermal performance assessments. We also provide this service on all styles of buildings.  High thermal mass buildings perform exceptionally well, but it is important to place that thermal mass in the appropriate location, relative to your climatic zone.  Nearly all States of Australia require a thermal performance assessment on new dwellings, so it makes sense to model the plans early in the design phase, and then create the certificate when the plans are finalised.

FREE ADVICE: We are passionate about earthen dwellings and would happily provide a free preliminary assessment and advice of your plans/designs.  Please email your plans/designs luke@earthdwellings.com.au to Luke Mahony or call 0400 091 281. Or go to our contact page.

Our prices start from $250 for a standard house assessment and we provide a quick and professional service. We are ABSA accredited using 2nd generation BERSpro software and have over 20 years experience in the building industry to provide practical solutions and cost effective results.

Thermal Assessment: from $250
(Based on a single storey new building equal or less than 100sqm in Gross Floor Area)
Basix (NSW): from $110

Please call Luke Mahony on 0400 091 281 or Email us luke@earthdwellings.com.au

Energy efficiency graph

Energy efficiency graph

Efficient designs means the occupants are more comfortable and they save money on heating and cooling costs. This translates into increased value of the building. It seems a logical step that houses are given  a star rating, same as cars and fridges. Recent studies  demonstrate that mandatory disclosure of energy efficiency in the ACT shows a very strong correlation between star ratings and house value – something in the region of 3 per cent for each star. So a $400,000 house increases value by $12,000 per star which makes energy efficiency a very good investment.

Houses built in 1990 averaged about 1 star on the NatHERS scale, so bringing a house up to the bare minimum of 6 stars will save 363Mj/m2 on a house in Western Sydney. This is a saving 100 kWh per m2 so on the average size house of 200 (conditioned) m2, so at a cost of 25 cents per kWh, the  house holder is saving $5000 per year to go with the increased comfort. You can find the Nather Starband guide here.

What is sustainable housing? Maximising function whilst reducing environmental impact.

To measure maximum function we can use computer modeling to give us a star rating under NaTHERs (National House Energy Ratings Scheme). The more stars, the more efficient the house. 10 stars is the highest and in theory, the house will require no heating or cooling to make the occupants comfortable.

In an interview in Sanctuary magazine, Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs summed up things nicely. First and foremost, good design is considered and makes the most of using appropriate thermal mass, orientation and natural ventilation. “You do all these things and the buildings starts to behave organically, because it responds to its environment and those rhythms in the environment – the sun, the moon, the wind, the breeze, the rain, it collects water, it keeps you cool, it keeps you warm. It starts to actually harness the environment and look after you in the process by providing the resources you need.”

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