Design Matters

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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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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Did You Know?

Refrigerators can cost anywhere from $80 a year to over $900 a year to run, so choose carefully.