The Lake Weyba Drive House in Noosaville, Queensland, part of Sustainable House Day 2015.

The federal government, through the Department of Industry and Science’s website, has released free architect-designed plans and specifications for homes that achieve a minimum seven star NatHERS rating in a range of climate zones.

The Design For Place suite includes a set of floor plans and elevations for a single-storey house, coming in three versions depending on block size. It also includes specifications and construction techniques to achieve minimums of seven star NatHERS in climate zones ranging from Darwin to Hobart, with some zones able to achieve ratings of up to nine stars.

There are seven areas highlighted in the plans to improve energy efficiency: orientation, climate, natural daylight, sun shading, natural ventilation, liveability and “thinking local”.

Launching the site to coincide with last Sunday’s Sustainable House Day, parliamentary secretary for Industry and Science Karen Andrews said the site put energy-efficient housing floor plans at “everyone’s fingertips”, and was a great resource for those considering building a new home.

“The plans use sustainable design principles that will help people save energy and money, no matter where they live in Australia,” Mrs Andrews said.

“This initiative supports the use of more efficient home design by providing free information that is fully adaptable to meet the needs of specific projects and the different climates around Australia.

“By building in elements like natural lighting, cross-flow ventilation and passive heating and cooling opportunities from the outset, homeowners can save on ongoing energy costs for years to come.”

The Design For Place plans can be downloaded from the YourHome website.

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  1. Personally I do not see 8 plus stars being difficult at an affordable price Price is the sticking point. We have to create excellent affordable designs with long term sustainable outcomes.

    I can build a living space at COST of $1850/m2 to lockup that includes a kitchen, one bathroom. You can add another $200/m2 for full fitout does not include furniture. That is on the basis you are building them in a developments of 50 plus homes.

    We are working on the following pricing for developments Geothermal (extracting low grade heat for heating and cooling); PV systems; battery storage all to be integrated to create a micro-grid. The current integrated energy cost per home in the affordable home is 7% to 10% of the home cost and higher spec home is 3%-5% of home cost.

    You end up with a net zero energy consumption in a development with the potential to to connect homes outside of the development to the micro-grid

    It will be a conversation we will be talking about at an event in Lismore on the 5th -6th November