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Location, Location, Star rating?

By johnboy 21 July 2011 32

Jase has pointed out that AdelaideNow has a story on the impact of green ratings, particularly here in Canberra:

“They already have it (green stars) set up in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory), and their saying has changed from `location, location, location’ to `location, location, star rating’ “.

With our serried ranks of real estate moguls here on RiotACT we’re curious as to whether you feel that is the case?

What’s Your opinion?


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Location, Location, Star rating?
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KB1971 10:48 am 25 Jul 11

Watson said :

KB1971 said :

Jethro said :

AG Canberra said :

The star rating system for residences is a joke.

Agreed. When we bought our house was rated 2.5 stars, yet it is cosy in winter and cool in summer. Our winter quarter electricity bill comes in at about $300.

Agreed also, it does (or didnt) tak into consideration of which direction the house is facing & where the windows are to make the most of the winter sun. As a result it seems that more & more hoses & units are getting smaller windows which makes them more reliant on heating & electric lighting.

I am stuffed if I know how the new units at the corner of Barr Smith Ave & Athllon Dve in Bonythoin can be cosidered 5 star, they look so dark & dingy from the outside.

Call me cynical but its just another good idea turned into a crock by the building industry.

I would’ve thought that large windows make the house lose more heat? Unless it’s double glazing, that is. And/or it has proper shutters. Same in summer. If you happen to have large windows facing West, you’ll need awnings or shutters or you’ll be cranking the aircon up, if you have any.

If I had stacks of money, I’d install double glazing in and shutters on all my windows. It would halve my heating bill. (I don’t use aircon anyway – but it would be nice to be able to keep the house cooler too.)

They do but if you get the ratio & location correct then they will benifit the thermal efficiency of your house fantastically. If they are placed in a northerly direction they make the most of the wonter sun with the summer sun not being such an issue due to its higher location during those months.

Being able to catch the breeze in summer aids keeping the place cool. It is such a shame that the building industry cannot seem to be flexible with house designs and will charge like a wounded bull if you want a house built to your design, this seems to be a Canberra thing though as my parents have built 6 houses interstate & not one of them was with the same floor plan & cost far less than any of the “pre-fab” homes here.

I guess what I am saying is that while there is an EER, I dont belive its the best one or really takes into consideration any real innovations into improving the thermal efficiency new housing in the ACT.

2604 11:32 am 24 Jul 11

Innovation said :

2604 said :

Watson said :

If I had stacks of money, I’d install double glazing in and shutters on all my windows. It would halve my heating bill. (I don’t use aircon anyway – but it would be nice to be able to keep the house cooler too.)

Run the numbers. The (gas) heating bills for our (1970s, heavily renovated and insulated) house are only about $700 per year, so even if that cost were halved it would take nearly 30 years to recoup the costs of double-glazing every window in the house. Not sure about shutters.

I just checked. Our house is over 22 degrees tonight and I don’t think the heating has been on for days. I very much doubt our bill will be anything like $700.

Congratulations.

Watson 9:05 am 24 Jul 11

2604 said :

Watson said :

If I had stacks of money, I’d install double glazing in and shutters on all my windows. It would halve my heating bill. (I don’t use aircon anyway – but it would be nice to be able to keep the house cooler too.)

Run the numbers. The (gas) heating bills for our (1970s, heavily renovated and insulated) house are only about $700 per year, so even if that cost were halved it would take nearly 30 years to recoup the costs of double-glazing every window in the house. Not sure about shutters.

But surely that’s also because double glazing, etc is so ridiculously expensive here? I’m sure it’s not that expensive in countries where it’s installed in most houses.

milkman 7:58 am 24 Jul 11

Innovation said :

2604 said :

Watson said :

If I had stacks of money, I’d install double glazing in and shutters on all my windows. It would halve my heating bill. (I don’t use aircon anyway – but it would be nice to be able to keep the house cooler too.)

Run the numbers. The (gas) heating bills for our (1970s, heavily renovated and insulated) house are only about $700 per year, so even if that cost were halved it would take nearly 30 years to recoup the costs of double-glazing every window in the house. Not sure about shutters.

I just checked. Our house is over 22 degrees tonight and I don’t think the heating has been on for days. I very much doubt our bill will be anything like $700.

A well designed modern home with no double glazing will still cost stuff all to heat. Our place costs less than 300 bucks a year to heat to a comfortable level, and we don’t spare the heater.

Innovation 11:00 pm 23 Jul 11

2604 said :

Watson said :

If I had stacks of money, I’d install double glazing in and shutters on all my windows. It would halve my heating bill. (I don’t use aircon anyway – but it would be nice to be able to keep the house cooler too.)

Run the numbers. The (gas) heating bills for our (1970s, heavily renovated and insulated) house are only about $700 per year, so even if that cost were halved it would take nearly 30 years to recoup the costs of double-glazing every window in the house. Not sure about shutters.

I just checked. Our house is over 22 degrees tonight and I don’t think the heating has been on for days. I very much doubt our bill will be anything like $700.

2604 9:39 pm 23 Jul 11

Watson said :

If I had stacks of money, I’d install double glazing in and shutters on all my windows. It would halve my heating bill. (I don’t use aircon anyway – but it would be nice to be able to keep the house cooler too.)

Run the numbers. The (gas) heating bills for our (1970s, heavily renovated and insulated) house are only about $700 per year, so even if that cost were halved it would take nearly 30 years to recoup the costs of double-glazing every window in the house. Not sure about shutters.

Gungahlin Al 9:08 pm 23 Jul 11

JC said :

Gungahlin Al said :

It’s a critical factor for me. We designed our house to be as good as we could possibly afford, and having a toasty warm home that is easy to keep that way is simply wonderful.

Whether or not people would walk away from a low star place is one thing, but research has shown it means a substantial price difference that you’ll get.

Only reason I’d even consider a low-star place is if I was cranking up the dozer.

Al there is a difference between designing a new house with efficiency in mind and buying an established house based on EER. Also you quote some research that says higher EER houses get higher prices, care to share the source of this research, or is it research done by Gungahlin Al?

Just can’t help yourself sometimes can you JC?

Took me 10 seconds on Google to find this: http://www.nathers.gov.au/about/publications/eer-house-price-act.html

I can’t recall the earlier one on which I based a briefing for the Brisbane Lord Mayor when I worked for the BCC Greenhouse team in 2003. We were toying with a number of innovative ideas such as an internal emissions trading scheme, a conservation credits scheme, and emulating the ACT EER declaration process – for commercial as well as residential. But the main thing we were working on was the draft Sustainable Housing Code for SEQROC (all the Councils in Southeast Qld): http://www.ausbale.org/files/Codes/housing_code.pdf . It went on to trigger what became state-wide law that essentially ruled out electric storage HWS, among other improvements. And as happens here, the HIA kicked and screamed the whole way…

Back OT, if I was buying an existing place rather than designing from scratch (my preferred – sick of other people’s mistakes), I’d be considering the EER as the starting point, then the “bones” of the house and how accessible it is to retrofit improvements to the insultation, glasswork, HVC, HWS, solar access, etc. Many Canberra houses I wouldn’t touch except with a dozer blade.

astrojax 7:47 pm 23 Jul 11

while the adelaide nights are fairly clear, we certainly have more stars in canberra than smoggy sinney or melbourne… that’s a plus for canberra, surely?

spiderinsider 5:12 pm 23 Jul 11

djk said :

spiderinsider said :

What’s frustrating is that EERs aren’t required for rentals, which where they’d be more useful: if you’re buying you can always improve insulation, heating etc. If you’re renting you’re stuck.

I thought they were required to be made available if one had been done on the property?

I stand corrected! After a quick check on Allhomes it appears you’re correct. Still would prefer if they were compulsory for a rentals though…

Innovation 11:09 am 23 Jul 11

KB1971 said :

Jethro said :

AG Canberra said :

The star rating system for residences is a joke.

Agreed. When we bought our house was rated 2.5 stars, yet it is cosy in winter and cool in summer. Our winter quarter electricity bill comes in at about $300.

Agreed also, it does (or didnt) tak into consideration of which direction the house is facing & where the windows are to make the most of the winter sun. As a result it seems that more & more hoses & units are getting smaller windows which makes them more reliant on heating & electric lighting.

I am stuffed if I know how the new units at the corner of Barr Smith Ave & Athllon Dve in Bonythoin can be cosidered 5 star, they look so dark & dingy from the outside.

Call me cynical but its just another good idea turned into a crock by the building industry.

Ok “Cynical”. Seriously though, although improvements are still needed, I think the concept still has merit. From memory, although things might have changed in recent years, some of the problems are that there are different assessment systems and standards across Australia and for different building products. Also, it is probably subjective at the margins and prone to error if an assessor misses (or places too much emphasis on) a feature and can quickly go out of date if there are even slight modifications.

Windows are particularly problematic and full of compromises which these systems have to take into account. The smaller the “hole” in the wall and the more efficient that “hole” is (eg double glazing, timber framing, thermal breaks etc, tinting, low E glass), the less heat is lost and gained through the wall in winter and summer respectively (efficient artificial lighting is always going to be cheaper than heating and cooling costs). Compromises (and installation cost increases) start to arise for things like bigger holes for extra ventilation in summer or to provide passive solar heating (from the North) in winter. Tinting windows to the North (and, I might be wrong, but possibly even features like Argon gas) are counterproductive to passive heating requirements and rating systems have to balance this up.

When we built our house many industry professionals didn’t have a clue about energy efficiency.
Some window companies were even recommending at the time that we tint our Northern windows (and I have seen some houses where this has actually been done)! We opted for very large Northern windows but, while this was good for the winter aspect of our energy rating, it temporarily counted heavily against us for the summer part of the rating (because we hadn’t yet installed our summer shading).

Watson 9:41 am 23 Jul 11

KB1971 said :

Jethro said :

AG Canberra said :

The star rating system for residences is a joke.

Agreed. When we bought our house was rated 2.5 stars, yet it is cosy in winter and cool in summer. Our winter quarter electricity bill comes in at about $300.

Agreed also, it does (or didnt) tak into consideration of which direction the house is facing & where the windows are to make the most of the winter sun. As a result it seems that more & more hoses & units are getting smaller windows which makes them more reliant on heating & electric lighting.

I am stuffed if I know how the new units at the corner of Barr Smith Ave & Athllon Dve in Bonythoin can be cosidered 5 star, they look so dark & dingy from the outside.

Call me cynical but its just another good idea turned into a crock by the building industry.

I would’ve thought that large windows make the house lose more heat? Unless it’s double glazing, that is. And/or it has proper shutters. Same in summer. If you happen to have large windows facing West, you’ll need awnings or shutters or you’ll be cranking the aircon up, if you have any.

If I had stacks of money, I’d install double glazing in and shutters on all my windows. It would halve my heating bill. (I don’t use aircon anyway – but it would be nice to be able to keep the house cooler too.)

KB1971 7:34 am 23 Jul 11

Jethro said :

AG Canberra said :

The star rating system for residences is a joke.

Agreed. When we bought our house was rated 2.5 stars, yet it is cosy in winter and cool in summer. Our winter quarter electricity bill comes in at about $300.

Agreed also, it does (or didnt) tak into consideration of which direction the house is facing & where the windows are to make the most of the winter sun. As a result it seems that more & more hoses & units are getting smaller windows which makes them more reliant on heating & electric lighting.

I am stuffed if I know how the new units at the corner of Barr Smith Ave & Athllon Dve in Bonythoin can be cosidered 5 star, they look so dark & dingy from the outside.

Call me cynical but its just another good idea turned into a crock by the building industry.

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