‘Through good design we minimise the number of holes in the building envelope. For example, by combining lights and ceiling fans or using wall mounted LED strip lighting rather than having lots of downlights, and not putting holes in the ceiling for ducted heating and cooling systems.
‘We also use good quality double glazing and ensure it is installed well. With good solar passive design there is often very little benefit in the extra expense of triple glazing in Canberra’s climate.’
Light House-designed houses are all about smaller, smarter design. They use thermal performance modelling software to check and optimise the energy efficiency rating of their projects at every stage of the design process.
‘Our homes are well oriented, and designed to be space efficient, well insulated and air tight,’ Jenny says.
For Light House, the inner gyprock lining is the vital part of the sealed building envelope. Even for renovations they often re-do the gyprock throughout the home to prevent air leakage.
‘In Canberra a well oriented, well designed home with an insulated slab, double glazing and wall and roof insulation will only need heating in the very coldest months, and won’t need any air conditioning at all,’ Jenny explains.
This is an impressive result for a city with summer temperatures up to 40 degrees, and winter lows down to minus six or even lower.