Getting The Right Type Of Home – Tip 8

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Some builders will tell you that to survive the Queensland climate you need a solid house built from a tough material like concrete. There’s no doubt concrete is sturdy, and good block construction will stand up to cyclone winds. But does that mean Read more

Healthier New Home Design

Healthy Home Design

Healthier New Home Design

Most of us spend a large percentage of our lives indoors so it is worth thinking more closely about air quality in our homes. This blog briefly discusses home design and the greatest source of indoor air pollutants with the possible associated health conditions. It provides advice and two steps that you can take to protect the health of people living in your home. It will also help you make better informed decisions about health and indoor air quality issues when discussing a new building project or renovation with your builder or building material supplier.

Poor indoor air quality may produce a range of health effects from mild and generally non-specific symptoms such as headaches, tiredness or lethargy, to more severe effects such as aggravation of asthma and allergic responses.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Home Design

Good design and orientation can encourage breezes and convection currents to draw stale air out and fresher air in. If windows are closed to maintain comfortable room temperatures, than the air will become stale, humidity will rise, levels of dust mites will increase and aerial born viruses will develop. Generally, the greater the amount of pollutant (exposure), the greater the health impact. The duration of exposure is also important: if low-level exposure occurs over a long period of time (perhaps many years) the total dose may be large.

Two Steps to Better Air Quality

Eliminate — Identify the source of air problems and wherever possible eliminate through better product selection and design.

Ventilate — If too little fresh air enters a home, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems. Ventilate the home to remove these.

One way to achieve these two steps is to insulate your home to reduce the need for artificial cooling. This will allow windows to be open while maintaining the same level of comfort. The correct style of construction will not only create a healthier home, it will also conserve energy and reduce your electricity bill.

What you do in the home design stage can make the single biggest difference to the health of the indoor environment!

How To Increase Living Space and Save Money

Insulated Timber Frame Wall Construction0001 (2)

How to Increase Living Space in a New Home. To get started we need to mention again the two main styles of construction in North Queensland. Firstly, concrete filled Masonry Block and secondly Insulated External Walls. The later is more commonly referred to as Queenslander Style. Originally, the two styles were never constructed with insulation in the external walls.  Although, as technology progressed and global warming became more apparent, the queenslander style of construction advanced with insulated walls.

In terms of living space, the size of the external walls becomes very important. The Masonry Block is 200mm wide and the Insulated External Wall is 100mm wide. It is now cost motivating  Read more

Insulation

It Makes Sense, Insulate Your External Walls!

Insulation

Insulated Exterior Walls a must with every home built in hot climates.

Have you ever wondered why most builders in North Queensland insulate the roof of a new home, but not the external walls? After all, the sun shines on more than just the roof. When choosing a new home design a lot of factors need to be considered. In order to make a fully informed decision, all of these factors need to be known. The most important of these factors is insulation. To really appreciate the effectiveness of insulation, you need to know how the suns energy impacts on the interior of a home. Firstly, unless you completely shade or insulate the entire exterior of a home, the sun’s heat/energy will penetrate to the inside. As a result, it becomes uncomfortable to live naturally and the Air Conditioners run constantly. All material absorbs heat/energy from the sun in some degree, and will in turn radiate that heat to the other side. Therefore, careful selection of material used to construct the external walls of a home is very important. Consider the following designs;

  1. Masonry block walls with steel reinforcement (cyclone strength) and core filled with more concrete.
  2. Timber framed walls with steel and timber reinforcement (cyclone strength), an external lining of reflective foil, 70 mm bulk wool insulation and finally a 20 mm air cavity.

How does each of these designs work in the heat of the tropics? Read more