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Green Smart Magazine : 2009_new
LEFT: Harness the sun's energy with solar panels and nor th-facing windows BELOW: Choose low maintenance materials for a healthy home thermal mass. 'The sunlight hits the concrete slab and absorbs all that heat. If clouds go past, the concrete slab helps keep the internal temperature by trapping the winter gain within the home,' Darren says. In keeping with Richard's commitment to the environment, the house has a strong focus on solar energy. Richard installed his company's photovoltaic solar power system, which produces a staggering 80 per cent of the home's power usage throughout the year. This 1600W system feeds excess energy back into the grid, which translates to extra credits in the Potter's electricity bills. A solar hot water system was installed on the north-facing roof to maximise the use of the sun for providing hot water. Two 4000- litre rainwater tanks on the roof collect all the rainwater and ser vice the bathroom, toilet, kitchen and laundry, plus the garden. Darren is also keen to encourage the general healthiness of a home, and as a result believes in choosing low-maintenance materials and products that expel no nasty aspects into the air. For filtering any nasties such as dust and pollen, the house uses a Venmar air circulation system. This ducted ventilation system also keeps the humidity at a user-defined level. 'Our innovative insulation system created a very cost-effective, energy-efficient and quiet wall and ceiling system,' Darren says. Colorbond roofing with thermally triggered roof vents is designed to expel heat in summer, while lightweight external walls minimise summer heat. A CSR Hebel Powerpanel wall system and Hardies Linea weatherboards are used here. Darren says that, luckily, Australia has come a long way from the radical or alternative perceptions of energy efficiency that existed when he started the business. 'People don't have to go to extremes anymore to make a healthy home. For me, because we're in the unchartered waters where builders live, I know that we are doing some good stuff and we are proud to be working in that sort of arena. 'GreenSmart's growing a lot stronger every year. ' gs ideas everyone can use • keep windows to a minimum on the hottest side of the house • increase the thermal mass of your home with a concrete slab and internal masonry walls • choose low-maintenance materials and products and improve air quality with a ducted ventilation system • install self-sealing roof vents to help purge heat from the home in summer. What better way to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency than by talking to the people who have already done it? Richard and Audrey Potter's house at 27 Rose St, Sandringham is about four years old now. For those who want to get a closer look, you can take a peek inside their house on 12 September as part of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society's annual Sustainable House Day. Tickets are $5 per house visited. More information can be found at www.sustainablehouseday.com. HIA is also holding a GreenSmart on Display event across Australia on 17 and 18 October, where homebuyers and renovators can learn more about the features of an environmentally responsible home. See a range of GreenSmart homes and talk with HIA GreenSmart design and building professionals. For more information about the GreenSmart housing and development projects you can see in your state at GreenSmart on Display, check out greensmart.com.au. GreenSmart on Display smarthomes greensmart 2009 33