Why green living is easy living



If you’re like most people, the phrase ‘green home’ immediately brings to mind high-tech and high-cost environmental features such as solar panels perched atop green roofs and greywater systems that recycle waste water.

What may be surprising is just how low-tech many green features can be.

Take ‘The Summer’ in South Fremantle – the first apartment in Australia to achieve a Green Star rating for sustainable design.

The building’s solar passive design focused on clever orientation, cross-ventilation and loads of natural light, eliminating the need for artificial air-conditioning.

Windows on two sides of the building mean residents can enjoy cool ocean breezes, while moveable screens on balconies also provide solar shading. The result? A whopping 88 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention cheaper energy bills.

Sustainable apartments aren’t just better for the environment, but for our health, wellbeing and bank balances too.

The Green Building Council of Australia has found that buildings with Green Star certification use 66 per cent less electricity and 51 per cent less water than the average Australian buildings. Because Green Star buildings are energy- and water-efficient, they are cheaper to operate.

The Green Star-rated Forté apartment in Melbourne, for example, was constructed from cross-laminated timber, which requires less energy to heat and cool. This has reduced operating costs by around 25 per cent, saving residents an average of $300 per year.

But are sustainable apartments good places to live?

Tony Perrin thinks so.

He lives in the Luminaire apartments in Adelaide’s Bowden development. Luminaire, and every other apartment within Bowden, has been designed to achieve a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

Tony says his apartment is flooded with natural light and was designed to make the most of natural ventilation too.

“I can open the window above my front and balcony doors and get great breezes through, which means I don’t need to run my air conditioning often.”

While Tony says the energy savings are “hard to quantify”, he says his apartment’s layout – which enables him to close off and cool small sections – together with its insulation and glazing have reduced his energy consumption.

“The design means that it doesn’t get ridiculously hot – but the few times it has, it is easy to segment an area and flick on the air conditioning for 15 minutes. That’s usually enough to cool it down.”

He thinks that has translated into cheaper bills, and that he is probably using less energy than he would be in a conventionally-designed apartment.

The bottom line?

You don’t need to invest in all the ‘bells and whistles’ to enjoy a green home. The secret is to look for ways to join the journey towards a more sustainable future and a better quality of life.

#greenliving #greenstarrating #victoria #property #benefits

LIVING Green Star © 2017 Green Building Council of Australia

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