Updated: Nov 22
You might have heard about the Palaszczuk Government's decision to postpone the introduction of rigorous energy standards within buildings. Initially set for October and now delayed until 1 May 2024. These standards aim to significantly enhance the energy efficiency of new homes. This move was met with mixed reactions, with various stakeholders sharing their thoughts.
The Key Points:
Queensland's Commitment: Queensland was the only state that had committed to implementing the proposed energy changes. The proposed regulations, part of the National Construction Code, were intended to bring energy savings to homeowners.
Cost Concerns: Some voices, notably Master Builders Queensland, expressed concerns that the new regulations could add up to $20,000 to the cost of a home. On the other hand, Minister Mick de Brenni argued that the regulation would only increase the cost by 1-2% but result in annual savings of $185.00 for homeowners. (some math that does not really add up!)
Seven-Star Requirement: The heart of the matter lay in the proposed change to the National Construction Code's energy provisions, which would require all houses to achieve a seven-star energy rating. Achieving this rating would necessitate better orientation, more insulation, lighter colors, and, most notably, double glazing for windows or equivalent high performance heat reflective glass.
Our Perspective at Lightwave:
So, what's Lightwave's take on all this? Well, we're still in the process of forming a concrete opinion. We've always been strong advocates for clever design solutions that save energy and minimise our environmental footprint. However, we do have reservations about how these regulations might affect homeowners in South East Queensland.
For us, it feels like a policy designed primarily for and applicable to the Southern States. We believe that homeowners should have the freedom to add more windows and enjoy natural ventilation without being penalised. After all, isn't that part of what makes living in Queensland so wonderful?
At Lightwave Architects, we've always been proponents of proactive design solutions that maximise all the benefits of sustainable living. Our approach to architecture is centered around creating homes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and responsive to your lifestyle and climate.
So, whether or not these new regulations come into play, remember that choosing an architect who can design your home to harness the natural elements and reduce energy consumption is always a wise decision.
In conclusion, while we wait for more clarity on these regulations, we remain committed to delivering innovative and sustainable architectural solutions for your unique needs.
Stay tuned for more updates and exciting projects from Lightwave Architects.
Our commitment to passive design
At Lightwave we feel qualified to comment on changes to Energy Standards as we prioritise passive design elements in all of our work. Recently we have been working with a client on a 10-star energy rated home. A completed project that exemplifies our ability to maximise natural elements was the Austinville House. Nestled next to the enchanting Springbrook Natural Park, the Austinville House stands as a testament to the seamless blend of modern luxury and environmental responsibility. Crafted by our passionate team, this architectural gem is more than just a residence; it's a commitment to sustainability.
Designed for a client deeply rooted in environmental values, the Austinville House is simple yet elegant. It's not just a home; it's a reflection of a larger mission to give back to the environment. As architects, we embraced the challenge, considering every aspect of ecological sensitivity and energy consumption.
The centrepiece of the design is the residences solar chimney, or commonly referred to as a thermal chimney. During the day solar energy heats the outside wall of the chimney and the air within it, as hot air rises it creates a vacuum pulling through cooler air from below. With strategically placed vents this can provide natural ventilation and cooling to areas of the home without the need for mechanical cooling. The house is completely self sufficient in electricity and a solar hot water system is used to provide hot water.
Living in the Austinville House is an experience in itself, made largely with simple and recycled materials. It's where sustainable living meets architectural elegance, and every sunrise brings a promise of a greener tomorrow.
Austinville House, a sustainable project adhering to strong environmental values and passive design.