Top 8 factors to consider before buying a block of land in Canberra

When choosing a block of land in Canberra, price isn’t the only factor to consider.  Some blocks of land will be easier to build on than others and some will have higher site costs especially if you need to demolish an existing residence.   So, how do you know which is the most suitable block for your growing family, lifestyle and budget? 

Element goes solar!

(image credit: New Era Electrical - http://www.neweraelectrical.com.au/) Sustainable solar power, the green electricity alternative. Solar power is clean green electricity, that is either created from sunlight or from heat from the sun. Having solar electricity in your home usually means setting up a solar photovoltaic system on your roof, so lets go through a few definitions and explanations before we get into the benefits of solar.

Benefits of design orientation to allow maximum natural lighting into your new home

There are a number of benefits that come with designing a home to accommodate natural light into living areas and bedrooms. The more natural light you have in your home, the less lights you have to turn on, and the less electricity you use. It may surprise you, but about 10% of household electricity usage comes from lighting alone! Another benefit, which is also related to energy use, is that natural light can also help heat homes by way of storing the heat from sunlight into a thermal mass such as your slab, concrete or brick wall; this then allows the heat in the thermal mass to be distributed throughout the house day and night.

Passive Design Principles - Glazing

We all know windows are one of the most important design elements to consider when building an eco friendly home. Did you know your home can lose up to 40% of it’s heating energy in winter and gain up to 87% of unwanted heat in summer through windows alone? Choosing windows that optimise your home's thermal performance can make your home more comfortable as well as drastically reduce your energy costs and the cost to the environment.

Why do I need an energy efficient house in Canberra?

In the first of our environmentally sustainable building design posts we are going to look into why energy efficient homes are so relevant for Canberra. For Australian standards, Canberra has a dry climate with warm to hot summers and pretty cold winters. Rainfall is reasonably evenly distributed throughout the year but even in a small landmass like Canberra, rainfall varies significantly with much higher rainfall occurring in the ranges to the west of the city and less rainfall to the east.