Design Matters

Case study: Energy renovation

Retrofitting a 0.8 Star brick veneer unit to achieve an 8.4 Star rating proved to be a savvy investment in energy efficiency and better health.

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Value add: When do investments in energy efficiency pay off?

Energy efficiency can improve health and comfort and can be good for the hip pocket too. But at what point do retrofits start to pay off? We ask energy efficient housing experts Trivess Moore and David Whaley to find out.

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The rise of the courtyard

As courtyards replace backyards as the primary outdoor space, architect Marie Carrel explains how they are best designed to maintain liveability.

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Stairs with flair

The humble staircase can do far more than provide access to your second floor. Anna Cumming shows that with a bit of creativity, stairs can fulfil multiple purposes from storage and thermal regulation to design feature or just sheer fun.

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Open source home automation

Home automation need not tie you to one brand or another. Designer Paul Hendy explains how he used the open standard KNX software to augment his passive solar home for ultimate comfort.

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Keep your cool with external shading

With summers getting hotter in many parts of Australia, keeping the sun off your windows and out of your home is becoming even more important. Anna Cumming looks at the options for external shading, for both new builds and retrofits.

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Did You Know?

Composting toilets can save up to 60,000 litres of water a year for an average home.