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Green Smart Magazine : 2009_new
6 greensmart 9 The Windows Energy Rating System (WERS), provides an easy-to-understand star rating that is a relative measure of the performance of the window, including the glass and frame's performance for both heating and cooling. Further information on WERS is available at wers.net/ For cooling climates -- The primary aim here is to reduce the amount of radiant solar heat from the sun able to enter the home so as to reduce demand for cooling. A single-glazed solar control low-emissivity glass could be considered, as it will provide protection from the sun's radiant heat and improved insulation compared to ordinary clear single glazing. For cooling and heating climates -- Seek to use the heat from the lower trajectory of the northerly sun in the winter months to naturally heat the home. On the north elevation, using an insulated glass unit (IGU) with low-emissivity (low-e) glass -- sometimes referred to as double glazing with low-e glass -- will dramatically improve insulation compared to single clear glazing, while allowing passive solar heating to occur. The IGUs with low-e glass on the more sun-exposed east and west elevations will likely require the addition of a solar control toned glass. Construction materials Construction materials have a significant impact on thermal performance of a home and can be easily used to make the most of the climate. The main options are lightweight or high mass construction, reflecting the density of a material and its ability to store heat. Materials with a high thermal mass include brick, rammed earth, tile and concrete. Lightweight materials include timber, compressed straw, fibre cement sheets, polystyrene boards and aerated concrete blocks. Properly positioning high thermal mass materials will help maximise their abilities to store heat, while using lightweight construction materials will help to prevent the storing of heat. For cooling climates -- Use lightweight construction to allow the house to respond quickly to cooling breezes and limit the heat absorbed. Materials with an externally insulated high thermal mass can still be incorporated to control the entry of heat through the insulation material. For cooling and heating climates -- Use high thermal mass materials to slow the transfer of heat into or out of the home, reducing internal temperature fluctuations in summer and winter. Insulation Insulation is an important factor in your home's thermal performance. An array of insulation materials are available ranging from ceiling and wall batts (fibreglass and polyester), foil boards, anti-glare foils, polyweave foils, bubble foils, foil-faced blankets and cellulose products. Insulation products display an R-value which refers to the ability to transfer heat through the product. The higher the R-value the greater the resistance to heat flow. When combined with other construction materials, you achieve a combined R-value, whether for the walls, floors or ceiling. Building regulations set minimum R-values for a home to suit the climatic zones so it is important to get expert building advice on this. Ventilation Designing to maximise passive ventilation can reduce energy load by capturing breezes and working with convective air movement (where hot air rises) to cool the home. For cooling climates -- In climates of high humidity, direct cool breezes through the house using window and door placement, and ensure internal walls do not restrict cross flows. Consider purging hot air from the ceiling or second storey using mechanical fans or air purging systems. For cooling and heating climates -- In a cooler climate where homes typically require heating in winter, it is important to control the Cooling climate cities include Darwin, Cairns, Mackay, Broome, Rockhampton, and Brisbane. Heating climate cities include Hobart and Launceston and alpine regions of Australia. Cooling and heating climate cities include Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Perth, Adelaide, Albany, and Bunbury. design what's your climate classification? Photo courtesy Brolga Homes LEFT: Incorporate deep, covered balconies to shade walls and windows ABOVE RIGHT: Reduce a home's energy load by maximising ventilation