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Energy Efficient Home Design and how it can save you money - Episode 3 (Season 8 - A SIMPLE GUIDE TO A SUSTAINABLE HOME)

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A simple guide to a sustainable home | Podcast Season 8 | Undercover Architect

Creating a sustainable home means one that is energy efficient, functional, low tox, environmentally friendly and supports your health and well-being. 
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When you design your home to suit its climate, you can dramatically impact its long term energy costs. Not only this - achieving a specific level of energy efficiency is actually legislated in a lot of locations, and is required in order to achieve your necessary approvals.

So, I’m bringing on an Energy Efficiency Consultant to share some fantastic information with us on this topic.


Tori Walker is the Principal Energy Rater at BERA, a company which seeks to “Provide Excellence in Building Energy Ratings and Advice”. She has been involved in the design and renovation of homes for over a decade, and has worked with Building Designers, Architects, Builders and Energy Assessors both privately and professionally during this time.

BERA has completed the necessary qualifications and registrations to rate homes in all States of Australia. It’s worth understanding that the systems and requirements can vary across locations, and you need to work with someone certified for your region.

For the overseas listeners, I still recommend you stay tuned in, as I think that Tori’s insight and suggestions on what makes an energy efficient home will be helpful for your location.

Some of the topics we discuss are:

  1. What an energy efficient home is.
  2. Why is it important to know about the climate of where you’re building or renovating.
  3. The National Construction Code requires Australian homes to achieve a 6 star energy rating … what does that actually mean?
  4. What’s is the NatHERS assessment tool used to determine the star rating, and how does it get used.
  5. How hard is it to exceed the standard requirement of 6 stars, and how much is this impacted by where you are located?
  6. What big mistakes Tori sees homeowners make, and also her big tips to get a great outcome for your energy efficient home and its assessment.

This actual step of assessing your energy efficiency can be something you are quite distanced from as a homeowner.

It may be that it doesn’t occur until you’re lodging your Building Approval with your Building Certifier, and they simply include it as part of their process. You see it on their fee proposal as a fee, and you receive an invoice for it - but you don’t really understand what happens, and what it can mean for your project, your budget, and the long term feel and performance of your home.

It is great, if an energy efficient home is your goal, to work with a designer and / or builder who is experienced at doing this, and to also work with an experienced energy efficiency consultant who can help you measure your home’s performance well, and make useful suggestions to improve it.

Tori has provided some great tips in this interview. Her business, BERA, services all of Australia.


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