Geography - Building a Sustainable House in Australia

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SOSE Notes-

Zinalume – Sustainable Roofing

ZINCALUME steel for Roofing

Product Description and Features

Roof sheeting made from ZINCALUME® steel is available in a range of profiles. The zinc/aluminium alloy coating on ZINCALUME® steel imparts corrosion resistance of up to four times the life of galvanised steel. Zinculume is the ideal roofing for a eco freiendly house.

  •                 Durable and strong
  •                 One of the most thermally efficient roofing materials available today
  •                 Superior corrosion resistance
  •                 Attractive
  •                 Available from an extensive network of suppliers
  •                 A deterrent against intruders
  •                 Excellent resistance to impact from hail
  •                 Excellent flexibility in design, can be curved, for truly individual designs
  •                 Flexibility of design allows for both traditional straight roof sheeting as well as innovative curved roofing designs
  •                 Easy maintenance
  •                 Weather tight and secure when installed to manufacturer's specifications.

Themal Mass –

Rising temperatures:

Solution: Thermal Mass.

What is it?

Thermal mass is the ability of a material to absorb and store heat energy.

Materials such as concrete, bricks and tiles have a high density. Using materials that have lightweight such as timber have a low thermal mass. This means that through the hot days throughout the year, they absorb the heat and then at night time when it gets colder the heat is released, this is going to make a major difference to the temperature of your house and your electricity bills because you won’t need to use the air-con/ heater as much now. So for as many parts of your house as you can try to use concrete, this could easily be used for the floor and walls. Then this house will have a lower temperature on average.

Street Orientation

Orientation is the positioning of a building in relation to seasonal variations in the sun’s path as well as prevailing wind patterns. Good orientation can increase the energy efficiency of your home, making it more comfortable to live in and cheaper to run. This is often referred to as Passive Heating.

The block is a north south orientated block and is perfect for sun positioning during winter and summer.

The bedrooms will be placed in the southern side of the house as they will be warm in the winter and will not receive much heat in the winter. The living room will be placed  

Large Windows will be placed on the Northern Side of the house to maximize the winter sun and to heat the living room.

The street frontage of the house will be vital as the west Australian sun is situated directly above in the summer, and northern side in the winter months. This specific house design can be maximized with the house.

Good orientation can help reduce or even eliminate the need for auxiliary heating and cooling, resulting in lower energy bills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved comfort.

Good orientation, combined with other energy efficiency features, can reduce or even eliminate the need for auxiliary heating and cooling, resulting in lower energy bills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved comfort. It takes account of summer and winter variations in the sun’s path as well as the direction and type of winds, such as cooling breezes.

Locating living areas to the north enables the home’s living areas to be naturally lit during winter months, and shaded in the summer time, because of the sun’s changing position in the sky. The solar passive design of the home is enhanced

Also we will have small vents on the southern side of the house for the cool breezes to filter through the house and large clerestory windows situated on the northern side to allow the hot air to rise and flow out of the house.

Green Roofs        

A green roof can be an oasis in the city landscape.

Trees and vines provide added cooling through the leaf transpiration process . When leaf moisture is converted to vapour there is an evaporative cooling effect as heat is absorbed from the air to convert the moisture into vapour. Cooling by evaporation decreases as the humidity in the air increases. The Green roof will be palced on the roof of the house

The benefits of green roofs include:

  • longer roof lifespan
  • improved sound insulation
  • reduced heating and cooling requirements
  • reduced and slowed stormwater runoff
  • capture of gaseous and particulate pollutants
  • alleviation of urban heat island effects
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increased biodiversity.

Super Efficient Windows

High Performance windows today feature soft-coat low-E coatings, inert gas in a vacuum sealed air gap, warm edge spacers and more efficient frame technology. The results are windows that block over 70 percent of the solar heat gain and provide overall R-3 thermal resistance. The most efficient windows today enhance performance further with one or two additional low-E glazing layers, gas filled insulating gaps and more efficient framing.


Clerestory windows (pronounced ‘clear story’) are a very versatile way of using daylighting. Historically, clerestories were bands of narrow windows that ...

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