The Building Code of Australia (BCA) now requires that all new houses and renovations achieve a 6-star energy rating.
Queensland home builder Indigo Homes has released a short guide to help home builders and owners understand how to achieve the new 6-star energy rating.
A house's energy equivalence rating is determined by the design of its 'shell' – its roof, walls, windows and floors – and indicates the thermal performance of the property. A high star energy rating means the house should be naturally cooler in summer and warmer in winter, saving electricity costs and lowering a household's carbon footprint.
The energy rating system was first introduced by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) in 2003 when the minimum standard for new homes was a 5-star rating. The BCA has recently moved to a minimum 6-star standard, with all building applications lodged after May 1st 2010 required to comply with this standard. (Before 2011, the minimum standard was a 5-star energy rating). Mandatory disclosure compliance will also be introduced this year in all states, requiring that the star rating of residential buildings be disclosed when leasing or selling the property.
The star energy rating takes into account four key factors:
- The layout of the home
- The construction of its roof, walls, windows and floor
- The orientation of windows and shading to the sun's path and local breezes.
- How well the above three factors suit the local climate.
Many of Indigo’s floorplans include a generous outdoor living space, not only providing the choice of relaxed indoor and outdoor living spaces, but also achieving a nominal credit of up to 1 star. Nominal credits under the BCA enable owners of homes with ratings of 4.5 or 5 stars to achieve the 6 star rating by using nominal credits. The installation of a solar PV system of at least 1kw in capacity will also attract a nominal credit of 1 star.
The orientation of living spaces, so that they face towards the north, has also been taken in to consideration with Indigo’s floor plans, with most taking advantage of the sites northern aspect. Lightly coloured facade options also help minimise the amount of heat absorbed by roofs and walls.
More information about the 6-star energy equivalence rating can be found in this fact sheet by the QLD Department of Infrastructure and Planning.
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About Indigo Homes
Indigo Homes are award-winning builders located in Southern Queensland.
Indigo Homes are focused on building quality homes and creating a quality, stress-free building experience for their clients.
Their stunningly designed, value-for-money, quality homes have won several awards, and their Caribbean 248 Design recently won in the Small Lot Housing category at the Master Builders Association’s Brisbane Housing and Construction Awards. Indigo Homes have floor plans to suit all different types of sites and living situations.
For more information about Indigo Homes, please contact:
Chris La Franchi
(07) 3370 6000