From May 2010, under the Queensland Development Code, all new homes in QLD must be built to a 6-Star energy rating.
But why the focus on a higher energy rating and what does that mean for you?
Queensland’s summer weather can be brutal, especially for excess energy use. This has a number of implications for the average Queenslander. With increasing energy costs, the ability to minimise energy use greatly reduces the everyday living expenses of households. From a broader perspective, if energy usage increases and passes over a certain threshold, the energy infrastructure will need to be improved. And that means significant price increases, passed on to, you guessed it, Queensland families.
“But I need my air-con!,” I hear you cry. Well, the 6-Star residential energy rating system isn’t affected by things like air conditioners, hot water systems lighting and fridges, so you aren’t being asked to go without. The great benefit is these 6-Star homes will be able to use their air con much more efficiently while maintaining optimal comfort. Your energy costs will be down, along with prolonging the life of your air conditioning unit. So it is all good news.
If you are about to build or undertake a major renovation, what does this mean for you…
A house’s energy efficiency (star rating) applies to the design of the building shell of a home. This includes the roof, walls, windows and floors, and aims to influence indoor comfort and lower the energy performance of the home. The rating is out of 10 stars and does not include things like air conditioners, hot water systems lighting and fridges.
How does it apply to houses, townhouses and units?
All new houses, townhouses and enclosed garages built in Queensland have to have an energy rating of at least 6 stars. This also applies to renovations of existing houses, such as additions, alterations or relocations. For new multi unit complexes however, the minimum energy rating is only 5-stars.
What are the design features of a 6-star home?
A 6-star design not only makes a home more comfortable, it also provides homeowners with ongoing savings on electricity bills because it uses less energy for artificial cooling and heating. Many energy design features can be included at little or no extra cost, such as:
The northern orientation of living areas and good layout of rooms.Minimising the area of east and west facing walls and windows.
- Wider eaves and window awnings for shading.
- Well-located and designed windows to capture breezes for ‘natural ventilation’.
- Insulation under roofs and in walls.
- Roof ventilation with roof and eave vents.
- Light coloured roof and walls.
- Treated glazing, particularly for western facing windows.
- Ceiling fans in living areas and bedrooms.
- Well-designed and located outdoor living areas e.g. decks, verandahs & patios.
What is the impact of the 6-star standard on building costs?
A 6-star design will increase building costs by roughly 1.25% depending on the home’s design, size and location. It is believed that the 6-star rating can be offset by ongoing savings on household energy bills as a 6-star house can reduce the need to operate artificial cooling and heating.
If you’re building a home and need a quote on Air Conditioning, give Star Air a call today!