Design information sheet

What is Passive Design?

In the South West we enjoy the best climate in Australia . Our climate is defined as a temperate climate, meaning that we have four distinct seasons, with mild to cool winters with low humidity and hot to very hot summers with moderate humidity. Passive design simply makes the most of these conditions to make your home more comfortable while reducing your bills. Passive design should cost no more when included at the planning stage when careful attention should be paid to orientation, shade, ventilation, materials, insulation and which rooms should go where to maximise the passive design efficiency.

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Orientation information sheet

Orientation is about the position of your site, and your home, in relation to the things around it including the street, neighbouring buildings and of course, the angle of the sun and the wind that will be used to heat and cool your home.


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Energy information sheet

Every year Australia’s 7 million homes contribute over 20 percent of Australia ‘s climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. That’s over 15 tonnes of greenhouse gas per home per year. Greenhouse gases are produced from activities such as heating, cooling, cooking, lighting, driving a car, running appliances and rubbish disposal. Further emissions are created in the building and furnishing of our homes.

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Water information sheet

We live in the driest inhabited continent on the planet. Yet water use in our homes has increased by 55 percent since 1982. About half of this water is poured on to our gardens, it’s used in our bathrooms and toilets, for clothes and dish-washing, in swimming pools and is lost through leaking pipes and plumbing fixtures.

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Materials information sheet

The materials used to build our homes can have significant health and environmental impacts. These often extend far beyond the end-use for which the materials are designed. Usually the impact of a given material is dictated by the processes used to extract, process and transport it to the site. These are not always obvious.

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Waste information sheet

Australians generate almost 14 million tonnes of rubbish every year at a cost to taxpayers in excess of $1.25 billion. All of this rubbish, whether it is made from steel, aluminium, paper, glass or plastic comes from raw materials from the natural environment. Precious resources such as water and energy are used to make our products that become waste, creating further greenhouse gases as by-products.

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Gardens information sheet

More sustainable gardening means using less water, fewer fertilisers and planting vegetation more suited to the local climate. Here are the major principles for you to assess the sustainability of your garden.

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