All of the villages will use passive solar design as a core principle. The buildings will be orientated to suit the path of the sun and minimise impact on the environment. The community will be able to reduce its on-going operational energy and water costs due to the superior sustainable design of the buildings, which will be independently certified before completion. Our villages will also be designed to ensure volatile organic compounds and other toxins are avoided.
The health of community residents is a high priority and will be further enhanced by the social features of our villages. There is now substantial research on the health impacts of social isolation. Indeed, it's been established that "the influence of social relationships on the risk of death are comparable with smoking and alcohol consumption and exceed the influence of other risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity".
Other design principles include:
Designing for the local site and climate.
Orienting living areas to the North (in the southern hemisphere) to maximise thermal energy performance of the home (confirmed via a NatHERS Star rating) and hence reducing utility costs.
Using the right type of glazing, in the right locations, to allow light in - but not excessive heat.
Maximising cross flow ventilation, to reduce mechanical air conditioning demand and supply fresher air.
Incorporating bi-directional ceiling fans as they are much cheaper than air conditioning systems.
Providing real-time building activity feedback to residents through active monitoring systems, so they can adjust their comfort and reduce energy and water costs.
Using reflective roof colours and roof gardens to reduce heat gain and remain cooler in summer.
Using lightweight materials on the facade to avoid heat gain, and using internal thermal mass to stabilise indoor temperature.
Superior insulation in roofs, walls and the floors, to provide year-round comfort.
For more information on smart design see Your Home guide – a free Government resource developed by Australian experts in sustainable house design.