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Wayno
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Re: 6 Stars required from Sept 2010

#136 Post by Wayno » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:16 pm

Planning SA website has this information:

IMO, the biggest visual impact of 6stars is that most buildings will again have eaves!

http://planning.sa.gov.au/index.cfm?obj ... 3A96013410
New regulatory requirements: Sustainable Housing

Increased energy efficiency requirements for all new dwellings built in South Australia will come into effect from Wednesday 1 September 2010.

The new ‘6-star’ energy efficiency requirement – which also applies to alterations or additions to existing homes – replaces the previous 5-star energy efficiency requirement which had been in place since 2006.

What are the major changes from 5 stars to 6 stars?
  • * An increased level of insulation required in walls, roofs and suspended floors
    * More comprehensive requirements placed on glazing.
How can new homes and extensions comply?
The BCA and the SA Housing Code provide two ways of achieving compliance with the 6-star requirements:
  • * Designing and constructing in accordance with new prescriptive provisions (these will be available in SA Housing Code Amendment 18, due for adoption on 1 May 2010)
    * Having assessment by an approved computer-based energy efficiency rating program (such as FirstRate5, AccuRate or BERSPro) with the result a 6 star rating or better and certain prescriptive construction requirements.
House energy rating assessments can be conducted by registered House Energy Rating Assessors. A Register of House Energy Assessors is available on this site.

The prescriptive measures contained in the Building Code include different levels of insulation for various building elements (walls, floor and roofs) for different climate zones (SA has three different climate zones - see our Climate Zones page), and restrictions on the amount and type of glazing in an external wall. The area of glass is limited based on the amount of shading provided and the orientation of the wall. A house with no eaves and no additional shading to the windows is required to have less glazed area than a house with eaves.

Good shading of windows (such as eave overhangs) and good orientation of the house (so that the main windows to living areas are facing due north) will enable the new requirements to be met for minimal cost (a few hundred dollars for more efficient insulation).

Good design, including thoughtful consideration of the orientation of the home, will help meet the 6 star efficiency requirements and save long-term energy-use costs.

The increased energy efficiency requirements for housing - along with new energy efficiency requirements for commercial buildings set to come into effect in August - will help in meeting Target 3.14 of South Australia's Strategic Plan to increase energy efficiency in dwellings by 10 percent within 10 years.

There are two ways new homes and extensions can achieve compliance with the current 5-star requirements:
  • * Designing and constructing in accordance with new provisions in either the Building Code of Australia or the SA Housing Code (see SA Housing Code Amendment 17 (May 2009) - Appendix H [PDF 280.6 KB])
    * Having assessment by an approved computer-based energy efficiency rating program (such as FirstRate5, AccuRate or BERSPro) with the result a 5 star rating or better.
Who will check that new homes and extensions comply?
Under the Development Act, development approval is required from the council for all building work to ensure it complies with the BCA or the SAHC. Before this approval can be issued, either the council or a private certifier must assess the design of new homes and extensions against the BCA or the SAHC. This assessment includes checking the design for compliance with the 6-star energy efficiency requirements.

Can house energy ratings be calculated with the use of heavy drapes and pelmets in order to achieve the 6-star energy efficiency requirements?
Attaining a star rating with the use of heavy drapes and pelmets cannot be used for compliance with the Building Rules if there is any doubt about the installation taking place.

Software tools such as FirstRate5, BERSPro and AccuRate are valid assessment programs. FirstRate5 and AccuRate only allow for the use of Holland Blinds on glazing to be included as part of the building shell.
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Re: 6 Stars required from Sept 2010

#137 Post by Prince George » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:57 pm

One thing that's a little funny about contemporary approaches to energy efficiency is that they seem to be fascinated with arcane technologies. Never mind double glazing, the air-gap must also be filled with noble gases, for example. With the constant march of technology, you would think that we were using steadily less and less energy (and in some cases this is true), but for the great majority of cases a house in 2010 is using a great deal more energy than a house in 1950. Most of this is driven not by some decline in the quality of design or materials used (although too often I think that they did decline, I don't think that they're the cause), but by the dramatic increase in the number of appliances that you can expect a house to have, the huge increase in the use of airconditioning for heating & cooling, and the steady growth in the size of houses.

I wonder at what point we start having to address these issues? Is there any point requiring solar-heated hot water, if there's a plasma-screen in the bathroom?

That said, I like seeing the talk in that Q&A about building orientation and design over materials, although it does seem to be talking as if those come for free, which I suspect is not the case. I wonder if Planning SA could step in to fill the gap between those who can only build directly off a plan and those who can afford an architect? Perhaps offering a consultancy service to help people choose the most suitable of the options offered by developers for the site that you're building on.

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Re: 6 Stars required from Sept 2010

#138 Post by Howie » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:44 pm

Another big change is the requirement for all new greenfields estates to be Fibre ready for the national broadband network.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/confusio ... -sp2j.html

It could cost up to $3000 per deployment. So that's another thing for new home buyers to consider when building a new home in a new estate.

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Re: 6 Stars required from Sept 2010

#139 Post by Wayno » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Howie wrote:Another big change is the requirement for all new greenfields estates to be Fibre ready for the national broadband network.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/confusio ... -sp2j.html

It could cost up to $3000 per deployment. So that's another thing for new home buyers to consider when building a new home in a new estate.
actually, it's very good to see a User Pays approach is being taken for such infrastructure!
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Re: 6 Stars required from Sept 2010

#140 Post by Howie » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:28 pm

It's a little more complicated than that, from my understanding they'll need to pay for the pit themselves, whereas previously the developer would pay for a first point telephone connection to the house that is no longer the case. So what ends up happening is that the new home owner will end up forking $3k for fibre pit to be installed, and also for the first point connection to get the telephone hooked up.. it's like a double whammy.

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Re: 6 Stars required from Sept 2010

#141 Post by Wayno » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:03 pm

Reading the AFR today it seems houses for sale (australia-wide, starting sometime in 2011) will need to obtain & publish an energy efficiency score (sort of like the star rating scheme used for electrical appliances like fridges & TVs). This is already done in the ACT and QLD.

Will be interesting to see how this unfolds, and how it influences buyer behaviour. I also wonder if the score given to a house could be open to unscrupulous influence and/or litigation if proven to be incorrect.
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Re: 6 Stars required from Sept 2010

#142 Post by ricecrackers » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:11 pm

dont be surprised if someone is profiteering out of the extra such and suches required for this 6 star rating..
and dont be surprised if that someone has connections to the government officials that drafted this legislation

call me cynical (I am) but the track record is there
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Just how big, or small, could a house be?

#143 Post by Prince George » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:18 pm

With the debates about whether or not apartments of size X are big enough to be acceptable as student accomodation, or whether they're dog boxes that will be future slums etc etc, I noticed this article from Vancouver:
Could you squeeze into a tiny home?

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Imagine living in a tiny home that's about twice as wide and a couple metres longer than a typical parking space. Now imagine you're house hunting and you've got the option to live in one of these miniature homes.

There is a growing trend, some call it a movement, toward these eco-friendly, tiny homes that consume far less energy and occupy less space than your typical single-family home.
The article isn't even talking about apartments, it's about tiny freestanding houses such as those made by Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. Take a look at the plans they sell (they do sell complete buildings, but it seems that their principal market is selling plans that people then build themselves) and bear in mind that you divide the area in square feet by 10 to convert to square metres. Their smallest houses are almost laughably small (10 sqm, but lacking space for things like a bathroom), but the largest one they offer has 3 bedrooms in only 87 sqm, and several of the plans in the 35-40 sqm region seem plausible (meaning you could understand how a person might be able to live in that space, even if you wouldn't think to do so yourself).

So what do you think: how much, or how little, space do you need to live in? What's the point where you would say "no, that's too small for me"?

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Re: Just how big, or small, could a house be?

#144 Post by Will » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:10 am

I think we must impose controls over minimum space requirements, otherwise the market will do what it does best, and promote a 2c race to the bottom.

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Re: Just how big, or small, could a house be?

#145 Post by [Shuz] » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:45 am

At the moment, I'm living in a 2br 1ba house that's about 95sqm big and I would say that is the optimal size for 2 people.

But that's not to say that it should be split in half for one person, but rather, simply just subtract the space of the second bedroom and other dead space, 70sqm should be the minimum.
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Re: Just how big, or small, could a house be?

#146 Post by Waewick » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:41 pm

I also live in 2/1 house

it is around 100m2 on a 361m2 block - I believe we have the mix right in terms of space outside but for the 3 of us (wife and child) it is getting a bit squeezy.

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Re: Just how big, or small, could a house be?

#147 Post by rhino » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:49 am

Recently there was a bit on TV, on one of the "tonight" shows, about blocks of land for sale around Noarlunga, that were smaller than my house. I was shocked. Mind you, I have a big (unfinished (owner builder)) house, and subscribe to a theory that there is no such thing as a house that is too big. Okay, Nicolai in Romania went a bit overboard ...
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Re: Just how big, or small, could a house be?

#148 Post by Omicron » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:53 pm

Those 'I live in X square metres' mock-ups at Ikea are interesting in this context. The smallest one I've always thought was do-able but undesirable, but the middle-sized 'apartment' (55 square metres, maybe?) seemed manageable.

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