Design Matters

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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When is a concrete floor the right choice?

Concrete floor slabs are a standard way to embed thermal mass in passive design, but is it always the right approach? Dick Clarke explains the benefits and design considerations for using concrete, and some alternatives.

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Future-proof your house

Life is uncertain, and many houses today can’t cater for the changes and challenges occupants might face. But there are ways you can future-proof a house to be flexible enough to cater for an expanding – or contracting – number of residents and their inevitable changing requirements, and also ensure the house is accessible for all, regardless of age or ability.

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Picking a site with potential

Searching for that ideal house or site to turn into your sustainable dream home? What should you look for and what should you avoid? Building designer Dick Clarke gets you started.

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Daylight your home

When investigating a skylight for your home, the first question to consider is whether you need sunlight or just light. With the advent of solar-powered LED technologies you can now bring ‘daylight’ into your home or apartment without compromising the building envelope – but if you want the real thing, there are several energy-rated skylights on the market. Dick Clarke explains.

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Did You Know?

Composting toilets can be installed in boats, motor-homes, regular homes and sheds built on concrete slabs.