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Molonglo Energy Efficient Homes?

By Solacecreations 4 November 2012 34

I have heard that the Molonglo development has higher standards that guides home owners and builders to have a more energy efficient home through double glazing or using an insulated slab.

Is this correct?

What’s Your opinion?


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Molonglo Energy Efficient Homes?
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Solacecreations 7:34 am 13 Feb 13

Jethro said :

Solacecreations said :

Deref said :

Surely the single most important and most efficient element in energy efficiency is orientation. It would be simple and cost nothing to mandate northerly orientation for all buildings, but you never hear it discussed. I shudder to think what it must be like living in one of those many west-facing flats. Who in their right mind would buy one of those?

I believe that Wright has mostly west facing blocks and when the land planner was questioned, he had no reply! You are right, design is absolutely everything and costs the same as bad planning. I am glad someone noticed this little observation!

Or, they could just start building more rotating houses that allow the occupant to select the orientation to suit the temperature.

Did you see the rotating house at Crace on the Today Show this morning. What a great idea. I don’t think many of our standard blocks would be able to cope with this but I fully support the concept. I note they had aluminium windows in place though. They would have reached a better result with insulated frames like uPVC.

poetix 9:52 am 21 Jan 13

AsparagusSyndrome said :

poetix said :

Ok, what is a waffle pod? Sounds like something for breakfast.

(And if anyone does let me google that for you, I’ll spank them.)

That’s a very kind offer, and I’m quite excited to accept. When can you start?

( Let me google that for you.
http://www.wafflepod.com/wafflepod/products/moreinfo.php )

Number 22 had already answered. Nicely. Your choice is asparagus or waffle.

djk 2:29 am 21 Jan 13

Just wanted to clarify something stated in this thread, as there appears to be some mis-information out there (better late than never).

You don’t actually get given $5k for doing your landscaping. You pay a landscaping bond to LDA at settlement of your land (originally going to be $7 or 8k, but I believe reduced to $5k) and then if you complete your landscaping to their fairly stringent standards within the set timeframe, you get your own money back.

AsparagusSyndrome 12:12 am 21 Jan 13

poetix said :

Ok, what is a waffle pod? Sounds like something for breakfast.

(And if anyone does let me google that for you, I’ll spank them.)

That’s a very kind offer, and I’m quite excited to accept. When can you start?

( Let me google that for you.
http://www.wafflepod.com/wafflepod/products/moreinfo.php )

Solacecreations 10:46 pm 20 Jan 13

GardeningGirl said :

imagesplat said :

GardeningGirl said :

Solacecreations said :

Deref said :

Surely the single most important and most efficient element in energy efficiency is orientation. It would be simple and cost nothing to mandate northerly orientation for all buildings, but you never hear it discussed. I shudder to think what it must be like living in one of those many west-facing flats. Who in their right mind would buy one of those?

I believe that Wright has mostly west facing blocks and when the land planner was questioned, he had no reply! You are right, design is absolutely everything and costs the same as bad planning. I am glad someone noticed this little observation!

In that case how was the design of Wright approved? I thought there were requirements these days not just for houses but for land.

Who was the land planner?

From the public info session/display for Coombs + Wright (in 2008??), someone claimed the required volume of earthworks (for more northerly oriented blocks) wasn’t feasible because of the slope & aspect of the area. There was some claim that a lot of earth would need to be excavated & transported somewhere. Sounds rational for the hillier spots, but maybe not for the lower/flatter areas. As with comment #26, closely packed houses muck up solar access too…

The long side facing north and sufficient distance between the house and the next house along should work. The more slope the harder it gets to achieve, but I honestly think neither the government nor the developers are really that interested in the relatively simplest cheapest solution. I mean once the effort has been put in to figure out the best layout and build the roads that way then it’s done, it works.

But I agree with this.

King_of_the_Muppets said :

Its strange that much of the community bases energy efficiency on what products can be used. Yes waffle pod slabs perform better than conventional slabs (although they were designed to use less concrete and save $) and double glazing is far superior to the old float glass of the past….

BUT we seem to have forgotten 2 key ideas which are far more important.

1. Good, site specific design, allows a maximisation of solar access and passive energy efficiency.
2. A home twice the size uses twice the energy to heat and cool.

We live in city in which we collectively invest very little time in designing our homes. Generally we buy one ‘off the plan’ or a ‘speculative build’ which is not at all site specific as it is designed to be repeated on various blocks.

We have also seemed to enter an era where the ‘market wants’ a formal dining room, a media room, a lounge and a rumpas. We have moved away from more multi-use open plan living and the result we are building extremely large homes which are often twice the size of those we used to live in (on blocks half the size). In order to break even they would need to be twice as efficient – a pretty big ask.

Ever bigger inefficient houses, and ‘products’ added to make them ‘eco’. The way some homebuyers speak it’s obvious they believe that a house’s eco-friendliness is completely down to how much extra money is spent on extra products.

I totally agree and would like to see the Government and Architects get more serious about what is deemed a “six” star home. Design is the first and most important part of a comfortable low cost home.

GardeningGirl 1:46 pm 20 Nov 12

imagesplat said :

GardeningGirl said :

Solacecreations said :

Deref said :

Surely the single most important and most efficient element in energy efficiency is orientation. It would be simple and cost nothing to mandate northerly orientation for all buildings, but you never hear it discussed. I shudder to think what it must be like living in one of those many west-facing flats. Who in their right mind would buy one of those?

I believe that Wright has mostly west facing blocks and when the land planner was questioned, he had no reply! You are right, design is absolutely everything and costs the same as bad planning. I am glad someone noticed this little observation!

In that case how was the design of Wright approved? I thought there were requirements these days not just for houses but for land.

Who was the land planner?

From the public info session/display for Coombs + Wright (in 2008??), someone claimed the required volume of earthworks (for more northerly oriented blocks) wasn’t feasible because of the slope & aspect of the area. There was some claim that a lot of earth would need to be excavated & transported somewhere. Sounds rational for the hillier spots, but maybe not for the lower/flatter areas. As with comment #26, closely packed houses muck up solar access too…

The long side facing north and sufficient distance between the house and the next house along should work. The more slope the harder it gets to achieve, but I honestly think neither the government nor the developers are really that interested in the relatively simplest cheapest solution. I mean once the effort has been put in to figure out the best layout and build the roads that way then it’s done, it works.

But I agree with this.

King_of_the_Muppets said :

Its strange that much of the community bases energy efficiency on what products can be used. Yes waffle pod slabs perform better than conventional slabs (although they were designed to use less concrete and save $) and double glazing is far superior to the old float glass of the past….

BUT we seem to have forgotten 2 key ideas which are far more important.

1. Good, site specific design, allows a maximisation of solar access and passive energy efficiency.
2. A home twice the size uses twice the energy to heat and cool.

We live in city in which we collectively invest very little time in designing our homes. Generally we buy one ‘off the plan’ or a ‘speculative build’ which is not at all site specific as it is designed to be repeated on various blocks.

We have also seemed to enter an era where the ‘market wants’ a formal dining room, a media room, a lounge and a rumpas. We have moved away from more multi-use open plan living and the result we are building extremely large homes which are often twice the size of those we used to live in (on blocks half the size). In order to break even they would need to be twice as efficient – a pretty big ask.

Ever bigger inefficient houses, and ‘products’ added to make them ‘eco’. The way some homebuyers speak it’s obvious they believe that a house’s eco-friendliness is completely down to how much extra money is spent on extra products.

imagesplat 12:50 pm 20 Nov 12

GardeningGirl said :

Solacecreations said :

Deref said :

Surely the single most important and most efficient element in energy efficiency is orientation. It would be simple and cost nothing to mandate northerly orientation for all buildings, but you never hear it discussed. I shudder to think what it must be like living in one of those many west-facing flats. Who in their right mind would buy one of those?

I believe that Wright has mostly west facing blocks and when the land planner was questioned, he had no reply! You are right, design is absolutely everything and costs the same as bad planning. I am glad someone noticed this little observation!

In that case how was the design of Wright approved? I thought there were requirements these days not just for houses but for land.

Who was the land planner?

From the public info session/display for Coombs + Wright (in 2008??), someone claimed the required volume of earthworks (for more northerly oriented blocks) wasn’t feasible because of the slope & aspect of the area. There was some claim that a lot of earth would need to be excavated & transported somewhere. Sounds rational for the hillier spots, but maybe not for the lower/flatter areas. As with comment #26, closely packed houses muck up solar access too…

King_of_the_Muppets 9:03 am 20 Nov 12

Its strange that much of the community bases energy efficiency on what products can be used. Yes waffle pod slabs perform better than conventional slabs (although they were designed to use less concrete and save $) and double glazing is far superior to the old float glass of the past….

BUT we seem to have forgotten 2 key ideas which are far more important.

1. Good, site specific design, allows a maximisation of solar access and passive energy efficiency.
2. A home twice the size uses twice the energy to heat and cool.

We live in city in which we collectively invest very little time in designing our homes. Generally we buy one ‘off the plan’ or a ‘speculative build’ which is not at all site specific as it is designed to be repeated on various blocks.

We have also seemed to enter an era where the ‘market wants’ a formal dining room, a media room, a lounge and a rumpas. We have moved away from more multi-use open plan living and the result we are building extremely large homes which are often twice the size of those we used to live in (on blocks half the size). In order to break even they would need to be twice as efficient – a pretty big ask.

Sandman 8:02 pm 19 Nov 12

Bit hard to be fussy about orientation when the house barely fits on the block of land and most of your windows are facing a fence or blocked by the neighbours eaves.

Jethro 5:48 pm 19 Nov 12

Solacecreations said :

Deref said :

Surely the single most important and most efficient element in energy efficiency is orientation. It would be simple and cost nothing to mandate northerly orientation for all buildings, but you never hear it discussed. I shudder to think what it must be like living in one of those many west-facing flats. Who in their right mind would buy one of those?

I believe that Wright has mostly west facing blocks and when the land planner was questioned, he had no reply! You are right, design is absolutely everything and costs the same as bad planning. I am glad someone noticed this little observation!

Or, they could just start building more rotating houses that allow the occupant to select the orientation to suit the temperature.

GardeningGirl 4:06 pm 19 Nov 12

Solacecreations said :

Deref said :

Surely the single most important and most efficient element in energy efficiency is orientation. It would be simple and cost nothing to mandate northerly orientation for all buildings, but you never hear it discussed. I shudder to think what it must be like living in one of those many west-facing flats. Who in their right mind would buy one of those?

I believe that Wright has mostly west facing blocks and when the land planner was questioned, he had no reply! You are right, design is absolutely everything and costs the same as bad planning. I am glad someone noticed this little observation!

In that case how was the design of Wright approved? I thought there were requirements these days not just for houses but for land.

I don’t know if it’s genuine ignorance or convenient ignorance but I’ve seen both land and houses advertised as having ideal north orientation when north is the street and all that faces north is the garage and one window. Also I’ve seen ads for houses with north to the backyard but a large pergola blocks any hope of sun. Do real estate agents have any clue what the significance of north is?

Solacecreations 2:15 pm 19 Nov 12

Deref said :

Surely the single most important and most efficient element in energy efficiency is orientation. It would be simple and cost nothing to mandate northerly orientation for all buildings, but you never hear it discussed. I shudder to think what it must be like living in one of those many west-facing flats. Who in their right mind would buy one of those?

I believe that Wright has mostly west facing blocks and when the land planner was questioned, he had no reply! You are right, design is absolutely everything and costs the same as bad planning. I am glad someone noticed this little observation!

GardeningGirl 12:16 pm 08 Nov 12

Duffbowl said :

. . Despite 7 years in the industry, you don’t have the necessary contacts with ACTPLA, builders, or architects to get an understanding of the Molonglo development . .

That’s what I was wondering about too.

poetix said :

Ok, what is a waffle pod? Sounds like something for breakfast.

(And if anyone does let me google that for you, I’ll spank them.)

I thought an insulated slab as mentioned in the original post has a polystyrene insulated edge, and a waffle pod has some of the inner part of the slab replacing the concrete with a polystyrene structure. The first is designed to reduce heat transfer between the slab and the outside air (something I wish they’d known to do when our house was built because you can really feel the cold in one corner) and the second is primarily to reduce the amount of concrete needed (I suppose it insulates too but from personal experience I’d be more concerned about the edges). I’m no expert so if anyone has better info I’m happy to be corrected.

poetix 11:14 am 08 Nov 12

Ok, what is a waffle pod? Sounds like something for breakfast.

(And if anyone does let me google that for you, I’ll spank them.)

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