Constructing An Energy Efficient Home: 4 Areas To Consider

Whether you’re constructing a new home or looking to update your old one, glasswool insulation will play a massive part in the process. Insulation will keep the heat in during the colder seasons and keep your house cool in the warmer ones. It will also stop wind draughts from entering your house. But picking the perfect components to craft the most energy efficient home is not just about the insulation. The type of material your house is constructed from plays a big part in its energy efficiency as well – we’re explaining why in today’s blog.


1. Lightweight framing

Lightweight framed construction is a very common system that is used in Australia. It combines both timber and steel to construct a comfortable and energy efficient home. If the timber is sourced from a sustainable place then it will absorb carbon from the surrounding atmosphere and store it, extending and strengthening the life of the timber. Timber is – for the most part – sustainably manufactured and sourced, and also minimises thermal bridging.

Steel framing is 100% recyclable and around 40% of the steel used when building housing frames is recyclable. Whilst steel framing is not considered to be as energy efficient as timber, it does have its own perks such as its recyclability and the fact it’s non-toxic. It’s also flexible and has a low waste rate.


2. The double-brick home

Double-brick homes are a popular and solid style of homes. They are built with double-brick walls, timber windows and framed floors. The two layers of bricks have an air gap between them. The best way to take full advantage of a double-brick home is to draught-proof it. This will ensure that no uncontrolled draughts enter or exit the home, helping to regulate the temperature at a comfortable level. Draught-proofing can be done by a professional or by yourself if you’re able to identify where the draught is coming from.

Another feature of double-brick homes is that they have thermal-mass properties. This means that they will absorb heat from the sun, storing it in the bricks and then releasing it inside your home. This can be great for winter and colder days but may not be what you’re looking for on hotter days. However, because the heat is released at a slow rate, it is really only a problem when the days are continuously very hot. Otherwise, the brick will cool at night, levelling the effect.


3. Insulation

Depending on where you live, there will be different recommendations and requirements for the R-value that your house must have. Australia is categorised into eight zones based on climate, with each zone containing its own R-value recommendation and minimum requirement. All Melbourne suburbs fall into Zone 6. This means that for ceiling insulation, you must have at least an R-value of 4.1 for a very lightly coloured roof, 4.6 for a lightly coloured roof and 5.1 for a dark roof. Wall insulation must be at least 2.8 and floor insulation should be 2.25. It’s important to note however that these numbers are the total R-value. This means the value of your insulation plus the R-value your walls, ceiling or floor already has.

While these are the basic building code recommendations for insulating homes in Melbourne, these R-values can change subject to an energy assessment. Therefore, energy assessments predominantly take precedence over the building code, so it’s vital to ensure your project complies with an energy assessment before commencing further.


4. Double-glazed windows

Around 40% of your cooling or heating can be lost through standard windows. Replacing these with a more energy efficient option – such as double-glazed windows– is a great idea and can minimise the loss of cooling or heating by around 80%. Double – or even triple – glazed windows have spaces in between the panes that act as an extra layer of insulation.

Just like wall, ceiling and ground insulation, double-glazed windows keep the heat inside in winter and has the opposite effect in summer. There’s also the added benefit of double-glazed windows being soundproof – adding acoustic insulation to your energy efficient home’s roster.


Are you looking to purchase glasswool insulation in Melbourne?

Insulation Essentials is your one-stop shop for all your glasswool insulation needs. Whether you’re looking at improving your current insulation or need to install some in your new home, Insulation Essentials stocks a large range of glasswool insulation at wholesale prices and the knowledge to assist you with any questions you may have.

If you would like to get in touch with us about purchasing some glasswool insulation, then please do not hesitate to give us a call on 03 8339 7111 or send us an online inquiry through our website.