Building and renovating

If you are considering retrofitting, renovating or rebuilding your house, it may be the perfect opportunity to make your home more efficient, comfortable, economical and gentler on the environment. There are a range of simple, cost-effective actions, which can have long-term benefits for you and your family. Explore the suggested resources below to start your journey…

Where to start?

The Australian Government’s ‘Your Home’ website has some very useful and practical information for builders and renovators and is a great place to start your research.

Key areas

Passive design

The use of passive design principles helps optimise site potential by using the elements of the natural environment to keep your home comfortable. It also helps reduce energy costs through air-tightness, insulation, glazing, passive heating and cooling.

Sustainable building materials

What you build your home with can significantly reduce building, maintenance and energy costs as well your impact on the environment.

Energy

Make well informed choices when selecting appliances that consume the most energy in a home. Consider new and efficient technology when choosing Air-conditioners, hot–water systems, pool pumps and other appliances.

Water

Retrofitting plumbing can be very expensive and hence you may want to consider installing a water tank and reusing rainwater in the house when building or renovating. Reduce water demand by installing water efficient faucets, showerheads and appliances. You may also consider a water sensitive garden design to reduce your outdoor water consumption.

Greywater

This is wastewater from non-toilet plumbing fixtures such as showers, basins and taps. It is ideal for garden watering, with the appropriate precautions, such as using low/no sodium and phosphorus products and applying the water below the surface. Appropriately treated greywater can also be reused indoors for toilet flushing and clothes washing, both significant water consumers.

Yourhome.gov.au is a great resource for more detailed information.

Case studies

Learn from what other residents have achieved in their own sustainable homes. Read case studies.

Talk to an expert – A rebate of $200 can be claimed towards the cost of a sustainability assessment of your building plans by an Australian Building Sustainability Association (ABSA) accredited assessors.

Community rebates

Ku-ring-gai residents, businesses and schools can claim a range of sustainable rebates including energy and water upgrades as well as retrofitting your home to withstand bushfire. Find out more on our rebate web page.