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Climate Design Wizard for energy efficient homes

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on August 10th, 2009

Source: GreenRazor, the GreenPages Newsletter

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The Climate Design Wizard provides homeowners, builders and architects with clear and simple information about their local climate, as well as simple design strategies that can help achieve a more environmentally sustainable outcome. The information is compiled from a century of climate data across Australia’s varying climate zones – as an energy efficient house in Sydney would have very different needs to an energy efficient house in Darwin.

Taking a walk through the Wizard might seem a little daunting – at first. There’s charts and schematics and mountains of climate data to consider. But the tool clearly outlines some of the most important principles for good climate performance.

For example, in Sydney, I’d want a house facing North to North East to optimise morning sun in the winter and to avoid the harsh afternoon sun of the summer. I’d look into windows and doors that face South to make the most of cool night time breezes in the summer. Then I’d need some more windows to the East for cross ventilation and air circulation. And maybe some nice trees to the West to help shade up that wall which gets exposed to the summer heat. Oh and a good solid block of thermal mass going through the middle of the house to keep the internal temperatures comfortable.

There are other considerations such as water collection, sun and shading. The drawings are all printable for clients to take their architects to illustrate the concepts and help them improve their designs with these considerations in mind.

“The benefits of learning how to live in the Australian climate, no matter where, is profound,” says Linda Ginger, CEO of Think Brick Australia. She hopes the tool will help provide simple and easy advice to anyone looking to reduce their reliance on artificial heating and cooling.

See the full article on the Green Pages.