In an era of rising electricity costs, people wanting to build a new home are looking for more energy efficient options.

A truly energy efficient home starts with its design. When undertaken correctly, it can save you money, reduce your impact on the environment, and improve your quality of life—while also looking stunning.

Here’s what an energy efficient home builder should be doing to ensure you’re creating a house that’s built for the future.

The core principles of energy efficient house design

Perth with its unique climate requires the knowledge of an experienced builder that understands these core principles of designing an energy efficient home:

Passive solar design

The direction in which your home is oriented has a big impact on its energy efficiency, and plays an important part in the design of your house.

As Australia is in the southern hemisphere, this means the sun’s path is predominantly to the north. An energy efficient design will take advantage of this: oriented on a north-south axis, your home will be designed so its main living areas face north.

This allows them to get more sunlight in winter, when the sun is lower, warming them up. And wide eaves provide shade in summer when the sun is higher.

It’s a critical step that sets the groundwork for your home’s design.

Energy modelling

Building an energy efficient home in Perth starts at the planning phase. A truly energy efficient house design is based on comprehensive energy modelling. This takes into account:

  • The strength of your insulation
  • Any identified thermal bridging
  • The materials used outside your home
  • Your building materials’ thermal mass—that is, their ability to absorb, store, and release heat

We undertake this modelling at your home’s design stage, to ensure you get the right elements that together create an energy efficient home.

An air-tight design

A good energy efficient house design ensures that air can’t leak through your home’s thermal envelope. No gaps, no leaks. This allows your insulation to work properly, keeping a consistent climate inside, and reducing the need for extra heating or cooling.

An air-tight design also helps to control dust and humidity in your home, reducing any instances of mould, and creating a healthier internal environment.

A high standard of insulation

It’s not just about adding some insulation to your roof. For a truly energy efficient house design, we insulate the entire building envelope: the roof, walls, and floor all have insulation in them. We ensure it’s installed properly, and not interrupted by the services running through your walls.

This is your thermal envelope, and works to reduce energy loss, meaning the inside of your home is protected from the heat in summer, and it won’t lose heat in winter.

High performance windows

An energy efficient home should feature high performance windows, with double glazing as a minimum, to stop any transfer of heat in or out of your home. This works to keep a consistent climate inside, while also blocking out outside noise.

Efficient heating and cooling systems

Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) is a mechanical ducted ventilation system that draws in fresh air from outside the home, gently circulates it around your house, and extracts the stale air out. This supplies you with a constant source of fresh air, whilst using very little energy to run.

Some air conditioning may be required to offset the extreme heat days we have in Perth, however you will most likely use it less in a properly designed and insulated home than you would in a standard build. Additionally, the power for the AC can be offset with a well designed Solar Power setup.

Often low-voltage ceiling fans will be sufficient to keep you cool, and cost cents to run.

Energy efficient lighting

Again, this isn’t about simply choosing an option that uses less electricity. Energy efficient lighting also means choosing lights that don’t emit too much warmth.

LED lighting is perfect for this. LED lights use less electricity, while providing more brilliant illumination without the heat.

An energy-efficient lighting solution is also part of your design, with the placement of your windows supplying significant passive lighting, allowing more light in without too much harsh, direct glare.

Taking advantage of renewable energy

An energy efficient house design should also be environmentally friendly.

At TrueLine, we champion eco-friendly design. As well as more sustainable building materials, our clients often choose to install solar panels to help them reduce their reliance on grid power.

These days most will also include batteries, allowing them to store their generated energy and use it throughout the home when the sun goes down.

Getting your eco-friendly home design right

An energy efficient home isn’t just about reducing electricity use. There’s a lot more that goes into it.

The design needs to be bespoke to your unique needs, taking into account your location in Perth, the surrounding structures, and what you want to achieve with your new build.

So we don’t just provide you with a design. We involve you right from the start, taking you through our process to ensure you understand how we’re making your home as energy efficient as possible.

From its energy performance analysis, to your planning and design, construction, and on into its maintenance, every step of our plan is designed to reduce your energy footprint—now, and for the long term.

Work with an experienced energy efficient home builder in Perth

When done right, your energy efficient home doesn’t just look stunning. It creates year-round comfort, while significantly reducing your heating and cooling costs—and reducing your environmental impact.

So if you’re considering how to make your new build more energy efficient, get in touch with TrueLine Homes and book an energy efficient home consultation.