What is a building heat loss form factor?

posted 19 Dec 2016, 18:04 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 19 Dec 2016, 18:23 ]

What is form factor?
The compactness of a building, or the ratio of external area to floor area is an important consideration in designing a home for energy efficiency.  Taking this ratio into account through the design phase does not cost any extra, yet its impact on future living energy cost may be significant.

The heat loss form factor = external surface area (walls, floor and roof) / total floor area.

The more compact your home, the more efficient it will be.  This is resultant from the linear relationship between heat loss and insulation values.

A square or rectangular shape or form has the best form factor and is the most efficient when it comes to reducing heat loss.  The following diagram demonstrates the significance of shape and form.



For more ideas on how building design can reduce your living expenses, and create a more comfortable home, contact us today for a free no obligation discussion. 

What do house energy star ratings really mean for energy use?

posted 18 Dec 2016, 22:10 by Donna Bartsch

What do house energy star ratings mean?
The House Energy Star Rating provides a guide with regard to energy use to heat and cool your new home.

Each area lies within a designated climate zone, and a unique star band is set for each zone to allow fair comparisons of buildings despite extreme regional variability in weather conditions across Australia.  This chart shows the correlation between a Star Rating and energy use for new homes in Adelaide (Climate Zone 16).



Every star makes a difference when it comes to keeping your home comfortable year round.  The minimum star rating is 6 stars.  If you build a home that is 7 stars you will have 27% savings in your heating and cooling costs, and build an 8 star home you will achieve 52% saving.  These savings add up to extra dollars for living in the longer term.

To find out more about designing or renovating a home that won't have high heating and cooling cost, contact us today.

What is the Cost to Build a New Home?

posted 18 Dec 2016, 19:51 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 18 Dec 2016, 19:58 ]

What does it cost to build a new home?
When looking for land one of the first questions that comes to mind is how much will it cost to build a new home.  This is logical, as you want to make sure you can afford to establish the property, and land cost and build cost are the two main contributors.

With custom designed homes, there is no one simple answer to "how much does it cost to build?", as the cost is dependent on numerous factors including the design and size, material selections, and sometimes the land itself (for example sloping site).

A quick reference of cost to build is often the local paper, where project homes advertise their display homes and indicative prices.  What these prices include and exclude is often ambiguous, to say the least, and prices listed are often rarely sold as owners choose material upgrades or make changes to the design to suit their needs.  A custom designed home is so different in design approach and outcome, that using project home pricing as a guide is really of no help.

To better understand the cost to build, the following chart may be of assistance.

If you are looking to build, or renovate, and not sure of what to budget, contact us for a free no obligation discussion.  

2015 HIA GreenSmart Energy Efficiency Home Winner

posted 8 Nov 2015, 21:21 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 8 Nov 2015, 21:25 ]

Danny Pauley accepts Energy Aspect Living award at the 2015 South Australian Housing Industry Association Awards
Energy Aspect Living took home two awards and a commendation at the 2015 South Australian Housing Industry Association Awards held over the weekend.  

A major win was the 2015 HIA GreenSmart Energy Efficiency Home of the Year, reinforcing Energy Aspect Living is a builder at the forefront of sustainable building in SA.  

The same home was further recognised as the best new home built by a country builder with Energy Aspect Living also taking away the 2015 HIA Country Builder Award.  And a commendation was received for 2015 Custom Built Home $350,001 to $500,000 category.

Owners of Energy Aspect Living, Danny and Donna, extend their thanks to staff and subcontractors who assist in continuing to offer service and value in building homes that consider their place in the environment, and clients who are so passionate about creating homes for energy efficient living.

Photo above: Danny Pauley, Director of Energy Aspect Living, accepts award at the 2015 South Australian Housing Industry Association (HIA) Awards.

Sustainable House Day 2015

posted 26 Aug 2015, 20:14 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 7 Sep 2015, 21:40 ]

Solar Living by Energy Aspect Living builder
Join us on the 13th September 2015 to see a newly constructed 7.9 star home at Port Noarlunga, open as part of this years Sustainable House Day.

Designed and built by Energy Aspect Living, this home was custom designed to make the most of its location and provide its owners with comfortable living year round without high energy bills.

The home will be open from 10am to 4pm.  Click here for address details.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Finalist 2015 National HIA GreenSmart Awards

posted 22 Jul 2015, 19:59 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 26 Aug 2015, 20:06 ]

Solar Living by Energy Aspect LivingEnergy Aspect Living has made the finals in this years National HIA GreenSmart Awards.  

A custom home, designed and built by the team at Energy Aspect Living, the home achieved an impressive 7.9 stars.  

"Making the finals in the National HIA Award is a great achievement" says Danny Pauley.

Winners will be announced in early September 2015.

Do star ratings for houses really matter?

posted 19 May 2015, 19:35 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 19 May 2015, 19:37 ]

We share two examples so you can decide if you want your new home to reach for the stars.

Reaching beyond 6 stars...
The main energy use in our homes is for heating and cooling.  For this reason each new home, or major renovation of an existing home, is required to meet a minimum requirement of 6 star energy rating.  A rating that assesses the projected heating and cooling load of the home to maintain a level of comfort.

With the minimum requirement set, it can be easy to just settle for 6 stars (tick - met that criteria), but why should we be satisfied with a minimum requirement when the ratings stretch beyond to 10 stars.  After all, if we reach for more, we will receive a real benefit in comfort and in the hip pocket.

Whilst reaching for 10 stars in South Australia's variable climate is a mammoth task, and often financially unsustainable, any point of a star improvement in star rating will save money in heating and cooling of your new home.  And this can mean significant savings longer term.  So, even a 6.5 star home will have a 13% saving in heating and cooling loads compared to a 6 star home.

At Energy Aspect Living we have just completed the construction of a 7.9 star home, and put finishing touches to a new home design that has achieved 8.3 stars.  Both clients are just as passionate about energy efficient living as we are.  Here you can see what savings they will make when it comes to living in their homes, and the energy (not) required to heat and cool them for comfort.

7.9 star home by Energy Aspect Living

7.9 stars

Key features:
  • solar passive design
  • combination of double and single storey construction
  • double Timbercrete block external walls with thermal break
  • colorbond roof
  • high levels of insulation
  • tiled floors
  • double glazed windows and doors
  • and more...

Independently rated to achieve 7.9 stars saving nearly 50% of total thermal energy load compared to a minimum 6 star home.

8.3 star home by Energy Aspect Living
8.3 stars

Key features:
  • solar passive design
  • single storey
  • aerated concrete panel external cladding
  • colorbond roof
  • high levels of insulation
  • sealed concrete floors
  • double glazed windows and doors
  • off grid power source/s
  • and more...

Independently rated to achieve 8.3 stars saving nearly 61% of total thermal energy load compared to a  minimum 6 star home.

Discover how to design a home that reaches for the stars here.

The best in the business...

posted 11 Sep 2014, 23:24 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 22 Apr 2015, 22:48 ]

House and Garden Little Black Book 2014The best in the business at your fingertips, Energy Aspect Living is listed in the Australian House and Garden magazines Little Black Book for 2014.

This year the Little Black Book is digital and available free for ipad by downloading the Australian House & Garden app.

Sustainable House Day at Hawthorn SA

posted 4 Sep 2014, 01:38 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 22 Apr 2015, 22:49 ]

Sustainable House Day

Visit Kirsten and Dave's house at Hawthorn SA and hear from home owners, architect, and builder on their experience and knowledge of undertaking a renovation of a 1920 red brick bungalow to create a sustainable place to call home.

Open from 10am to 4pm on both Sunday the 7th and Sunday the 14th September 2014, this is your chance to learn more about sustainable living.

Where to find us and more details can be found here.

Sustainable House Day 2014

posted 29 Apr 2014, 20:14 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 20 May 2014, 02:23 ]

Sustainable House Day is to be held over 2 days in 2014...to give plenty of chance to those looking for ideas and inspiration to see as many homes as they can.

A home built by Energy Aspect Living will be open this year and whilst we can reveal details just yet we do recommend that you book the 7th and 14th September into your calender.

Sustainable House Day is a great way to see and hear from everyday people about the benefits, challenges and lessons learnt in planning and building an energy efficient and sustainable home in South Australia.

We will be sure to keep you posted as the Sustainable House Day 2014 gets closer...however if you want to find out more in the meantime, feel free to contact us.

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