Passive Solar Designs by Central Avenue Homes

Construction, insulation and materials for passive designed homes

We previously took an in depth look at passive design and house site characteristics and site orientation need to be considered when designing a solar passive home. Double brick has always been the construction method of choice for new homes in Perth, WA. This is certainly not the best method of construction to reduce the use of heating and cooling energy.

In Perth we experience long periods of sustained heat in summer, double brick has an approximate ‘thermal lag’ time of 12 hours which means brick structures take a long time to cool down and change temperatures internally. This lag time is increased in multi-storey, medium density developments and will lead to the occupants using artificial cooling regularly.

What are your options?

Improving double brick structures

People in Perth are reluctant to move away from this traditional construction method, fearing lower valuations and poorer structural integrity. If this is you then we can work with you to improve your homes ability to reduce the amount of heat the home absorbs and its ability to cool down as quickly as possible.

We work with our energy assessors to explore the actual improvement your home will receive from installing cavity insulation, improving glazing and increasing your homes ceiling insulation (under roof cover and ceiling bulk insulation). This gives you the tools to see whether the money it costs you is a worthy investment.

Alternative methods of construction

As we are a custom design building company we can offer to design and quote a home for you using alternative building methods. We currently build light weight and highly insulation homes for our clients who want faster build times and homes that respond better to the local climate. These steel framed homes are finished with a thick texture coated foam cladding to give the appearance of a rendered brick home. See our website for more information about building a lightweight home:

Lightweight - Fast build 2 storey home

Image: Example of a two storey framed home completed with texture coat

Everything matters

Improvements, no matter how small, can all add up to greatly improve the liveability of your new home. Consider the impact the following items can have on reducing your heating and cooling energy:

  • Roof colour (light colours to reduce heat absorbed)
  • House colour (light colours to reduce heat absorbed)
  • Landscaping – plants can cool the air around your home and also increase shading
  • Window treatments – curtains and blinds will block out direct sun in summer on western and eastern windows along with keeping artificial heat in the home during winter
  • Roof ventilation – consider different roof ventilation techniques to release hot air from roof spaces

What next?

Why not ask Central Avenue Homes to design a solar passive home for you? We have the knowledge and experience to construct a home that performs well above others in the Perth climate. No block size or shape is too difficult for us to work with and we offer services for all budgets.