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Sustainable homes

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Following the St Brigid's Sustainable Homes Tour, this presentation was prepared for VCE Environmental Science students. It outlines the considerations for sustainable living in SW Victoria.

Following the St Brigid's Sustainable Homes Tour, this presentation was prepared for VCE Environmental Science students. It outlines the considerations for sustainable living in SW Victoria.

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  • 1. Sustainable Homes
    Unit 3 VCE Environmental Science
    Area of Study 1: Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • 2. Considerations for Sustainability:
    • Orientation (north-facing, for winter sun and summer shade)
    • 3. Materials (wood, mud-brick, straw-bale, stone, Hebel)
    • 4. Design (roof pitch, eaves, height of ceilings)
    • 5. Garden surrounds (effects on micro-climate)
    • 6. Energy use and supply
    • 7. Waste (Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle)
    • 8. Biodiversity (encouraging native plants and animals)
    • 9. Water (Tanks, natural filters and tanks)
  • Orientation
    • A north facing home allows maximum sunlight to be radiated into the home during winter, when the sun is at a lower angle.
    • 10. With effective roof eaves, summer sun can be prevented from entering the home due to the greater angle of the sun at this time.
    • 11. In Victoria, our weather often comes from the south or west, so no windows or small ones should be on these sides.
  • Passive solar design, concrete floors, Hebel construction with 3.5 rated insulation, recycled timbers, double-glazed windows.
  • 12. Materials
    • Potential for recycling (stone, wood and brick)
    • 13. Embodied energy (mass, volume and distance travelled)
    • 14. Insulation properties and weathering
    • 15. Thermal capacity
    • 16. Visual impact, cost and heritage features are additional considerations.
  • Passive solar design, straw-bale construction with lime render,
    recycled timbers and fittings.
  • 17.
  • 18. Design
    • Larger windows on the east and north to allow maximum light, while smaller ones on west and south to prevent heat loss.
    • 19. Windows placed to allow effective cross-ventilation and circulation of cool and warm air.
    • 20. Small ‘footprint’ to reduce impact.
    • 21. Rooms that can be ‘shut off’ when not in use, so only heating or cooling minimum area.
  • Architect-designed, mud-brick home with solar panels on shed,
    permaculture garden .
  • 22. Garden
    • Deciduous(non-native) trees provide shade in summer and allow light through in winter.
    • 23. Bodies of water (ponds, pools and waterfalls) can create a cool microclimate.
    • 24. Vines (Clematis, ornamental grape, Hardenbergiacan provide a cooling effect on solid surfaces.
    • 25. Fruit trees, vegetables and herbs can be grown at home to ensure freshness and that no pesticides are used, as well as reducing ‘food miles’.
  • 26.
  • 27. Energy use and Supply
    • Energy requirements should be reduced as a first step. Anything that has a heating element (electric blankets, kettle, hot water service, clothes dryer) use large amounts of energy.
    • 28. Photovoltaic panels can provide sufficient energy to power most homes. Grid-connected or stand alone systems have different benefits and disadvantages.
    • 29. Wind turbines are also widely used for residential properties.
  • 30. Waste
    • Rethink – Ethical shopping and gift purchasing, Do you really need it?, Can you borrow it?
    • 31. Reduce – Less packaging, buy in bulk. Landfill is a growing problem.
    • 32. Reuse – Ceramic cups and plates instead of plastic, tins and glass containers in the home.
    • 33. Recycle - Clothes, shoes, furniture, books, home-wares etc
  • 34. Biodiversity
    • Encourage native fauna by planting native flora in the garden.
    • 35. Leave ‘wild’ places for biodiversity to flourish.
    • 36. Shelter belts on farms have many advantages – carbon sinks, prevent erosion, provide shade and wind breaks, habitat for native birds and mammals which can control insect pests.
  • 37. Water
    • 600 – 700mm rainfall in Hawkesdale district p.a.
    • 38. Tank water can provide adequate supplies, without chlorine or fluoride added.
    • 39. Grey water can be recycled through reed beds or commercial systems for garden use.
    • 40. Black water systems are also available, as are waterless (composting) toilets.