Design Matters

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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From the ground up: A modern take on earth building

At its best it’s a low energy alternative with plenty of potential for effective passive solar design, with houses sprung from the very ground they rest on. Dick Clarke outlines the modern application of one of the oldest building materials around.

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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.