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Aussie Team Wins 2013 International Solar Decathlon

Posted: August 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: GREEN, INSULATION, Renovate or Die, Renovation News, STANDOUT, Technology | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Aussie Team Wins 2013 International Solar Decathlon

Aussie Team Wins International Solar Declathon

A team from the University of Wollongong UOW and TAFE Illawarra Institute have won a coveted international competition to design a zero-emissions solar home, the teams entry – a retro-fitted Aussie fibro shack – beat-off 24 other entrants to place first in the solar, engineering and architecture categories, with a team from China coming in a sound second.

It’s the first time an Australian team has entered the Solar Decathlon – held in Datong, China since 2002 – the 51-strong team built the Flame House to inspire the Australian community, housing and building industries to embrace sustainable retrofitting technologies.

The retrofitted fibro cottage was also designed to appeal to older builders nearing retirement. The team aimed at building a sustainable home that would sit comfortably in it’s suburban environment :: Read the full article »»»»


Insulate! It’s Great

Posted: January 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: INSULATION, Renovation Planning, Renovation Tips | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Insulate! It’s Great

Insulate It's Great

It sounds unsexy, but it’s the greenest thing you can install in any house or apartment to immediately improve its environmental performance – insulation. Put it in ceilings, walls or around hotwater pipes and you’ve got your house the equivalent of a warm woolly jumper in winter or an esky in summer, not to mention plenty of enviro-Brownie points to help you feel smug about the state of your Green-ness ::::

Insulate! It's Great

Effective insulation saves on electricity consumption, making a home more comfortable to live in and paying back the initial installation cost within a few short years, according to energy expert Bruce Taper from Kinesis.

“In terms of dollars spent, insulation is the cheapest thing you can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he says.

Insulation installer Justin Beck says ceiling insulation – either loose fill or fixed batts – is the most effective way to reap immediate comfort and energy-saving benefits, with the average house costing between $800 and $1200 to insulate.

But RMIT adjunct professor Alan Pears says householders would reap immediate benefits by going the whole insulation hog and putting it in walls, ceilings and floors.

“There is an art to insulation,” he says, explaining that all insulation products offer a thermal rating – or R value – which must be correctly aligned with the local climate. Sydney homes have a different R value to homes in Hobart, for example. There is also a range of products – from wool batts to bubble wrap to blow-in fill to suit ceilings or walls without easy access.

“Insulation has a cascading effect on the environmental efficiency of a house,” he says. In other words, the better insulated a home, the more cost-savings the owner will reap.

“Installing lagging around the hotwater pipes that run between the hotwater system and the bathroom is one of the easiest, cheapest forms of insulation. The minute you do it, you don’t have to pay to heat as much water and you don’t let as much cold water run down the drain,” he says.