Sustainability Stars In Home Building And Renovating

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29th January 2010, 03:34pm - Views: 877

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Media Release

From the Building Commission

28 January 2010

Sustainability stars in home building and renovating

If you build a new home or renovate an old one in Victoria, it must comply with energy efficiency

and water saving regulations, known as 5 Star. 

Almost all building or renovation projects that involve new building work or home extensions will

need to comply with 5 Star. Minor work that does not require a building permit is not required to

meet the 5 Star Standard. 

When planning to build a new home or renovate or relocate an existing house in Victoria, you

should contact a building designer, a builder or a building surveyor for advice on 5 Star

compliance. Before you start any building work, you will need to demonstrate that your plans

meet these requirements. Your council or private building surveyor will then issue a building

permit and can conduct inspections during the construction, making sure it complies. On

completion you will benefit from a greater range of energy efficiency and water saving features,

increased comfort and reduced household energy bills.

The requirements to meet 5 Star are straightforward. New homes must meet the 5 Star standard

for the thermal performance of the roof, external walls and floors, plus include a rainwater tank

for toilet flushing or a solar hot water system. 

Home alterations and relocations only require 5 Star thermal performance and are not mandated

to install a rainwater tank or a solar hot water system.

5 Star is flexible with considerable choice to meet the requirements. Conventional, readily-

available materials and building techniques can easily meet 5 Star, which means homeowners,

builders, and designers have almost infinite options in the design and construction of their

homes to comply. Simply:

Design your home to suit its construction. Houses with concrete slab floors and those

with suspended timber floors each perform differently in summer and winter. For

example, carpet can provide timber floored homes with extra floor insulation for warmth

in winter whereas tiles on a concrete slab will make it easier for the floor to store solar

energy collected through good passive design

Insulate walls, ceilings and suspended timber floors to reduce heat losses in winter and

heat gains in summer

Consider the internal layout of your home to enhance energy efficiency, such as locating

windows opposite one another to create cool breezes, and minimising large stairwells so

your home does not loose valuable warmth

Utilize windows to improve energy efficiency by making use of the large range of high

performance energy efficiency glazing products on the market

Consider your home’s orientation by having living spaces positioned to make the most of

northerly sunlight through appropriate window orientation, sizing and shading

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Make better use of the sun by shading windows in summer with eaves, verandahs

external blinds and tailored landscaping 

Install the best available water-saving showerheads, taps and fittings.

The key to 5 Star is good design, so work closely with your designer or builder, and remember to

use a registered builder for all work over $5,000.

For more on the 5 Star Standard contact the Building Commission on 1300 815 127 or visit

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