New Home Builders

Building a new homeBuilding a new home is a major investment and one of the most important factors is comfort - we all want the house for the climate to be comfortable in our new homes. Building a new home is an ideal opportunity to incorporate sustainability features that will not only result in a comfortable home, it can also significantly reduce the running costs - now and in the feature. This means designing the house for the climate, using appropriate building materials, and using major appliances that are energy and water efficient.

With increased awareness and demand for sustainability features in homes, it will also help improve re-sale value.

Resources

There are a range of resources available to assist home owners in the design and construction of new homes in the Alice Springs climate. The Australian Government's Your Home is an excellent resource, covering all aspects of new home building, design and construction. It has a comprehensive website and a detailed information Technical Manual is also available.

Alice Solar City, in conjunction with Arid Lands Environment Centre and Department of Natural Resources, Arts and Sport's Waterwise program has also produced a set of voluntary guidelines for new homes being built in Alice Springs. You can download a copy here.

If you're looking for further information on efficient energy and water use in Central Australia, NT Government, Power and Water Corporation and Desert Smart COOLmob have published a guide for home owners, buyers and renovators.

Shading for new builds

With good design you can minimise the need to rely on heating and cooling to remain comfortable in your home.

  • Minimise shading to any portion of the glass in winter to allow full winter solar access, or increase the distance between the window head and the underside of the eave, but consider the affect it will have in summer.
  • Use adjustable shade screens or deep overhangs (or a combination of both) tothe east and west. Deep covered balconies or verandas shade and cool incoming air and provide pleasant outdoor living space.
  • Place a shaded courtyard next to the main living areas to act as a cool air well. Tall, narrow, generously planted courtyards are the most effective when positioned so that they are shaded by the house.
  • Use planting instead of paving, to reduce the retention of summer heat, lower ground temperatures, and to reduce the amount of reflected heat. 

For further information on all aspects of sustainable housing, refer to the Your Home technical manual – 300 pages of practical technical solutions for builders, designers and homeowners which is also available online.