Design Matters

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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Not just window dressing: High-performance curtains, blinds and shutters

Internal window coverings can protect privacy and dramatically improve the thermal function of a house, and if you choose with care, they can help keep you comfortable for years, writes Anna Cumming.

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Windows: In the frame

Wondering which glazing is most suitable for your house and climate? Lance Turner and Dick Clarke introduce you to the delicate art of window selection, and explain the key terms and concepts to get you started.

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Material benefit: specifying eco building products

Vetting the green credentials of building products is difficult for everyone. We find out how the experts go about this tricky task.

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Right to light: solar access and the law

Australia’s legal regimes don’t explicitly protect solar access for solar panels or passive solar designed buildings. But, as more households fight through the courts for their right to light, there are important precedents being set across the country.

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Optimise your solar

There are now over 1.6 million solar power systems sitting atop Australian roofs, but do you know if yours is working properly? ATA founder and solar PV pioneer Mick Harris helps you find out.

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Did You Know?

Many greywater systems are low-cost, easy to use and can feed your garden with a regular supply of water.