The Westerner

Civic Steel Homes: Environmentally designed homes ease financial stress

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Having the correct orientation for your home is the first step to a sustainable building design that can save you money.

Having the correct orientation for your home is the first step to a sustainable building design that can save you money.

With the ongoing financial stress on families from ever increasing electricity and water bills, more than ever people are seeking out sustainable building practices as they look to build their new home.

Shane Windsor, project manager at Civic Steel Homes, says sustainable design features in a home can save homeowners money in the long term.

“While the building industry over recent years has had to improve its designs to meet higher energy ratings, many people still want more,” Mr Windsor said.

“It might be a surprise to learn that many sustainable design features in a home are actually free – if designed from the beginning.

“In addition, many sustainable solutions, while adding marginally to the initial cost of a house, will save you money in the long term.”

Civic Steel Homes was one of the first builders in Queensland to fully embrace the Housing Industry Association’s Greensmart principles, even before the required energy standards became regulated.

Mr Windsor, whose architectural design team at Civic Steel Homes is fully Greensmart accredited, said the mosy important factor in sustainable design is “the building’s orientation on its block”.

“Every piece of land is different and the home built there should take full advantage of the path of the sun, slope and breezes and other special characteristics,” he said.

“Strategies for the tropics are different from those used in temperate climates.

“A home that is well positioned and designed on its site delivers significant lifestyle and environmental benefits.

“Correct orientation assists passive heating and cooling, resulting in improved comfort and decreased energy bills.

“In fact most of our clients find they don’t require the use of artificial heating and cooling at all.

“Increasingly homes need to be designed with solar panels included in the architecture and not just a ‘stuck-on’ addition.

“Given the competitive nature of the solar power industry the cost of generating your own power has dropped significantly.

“Couple this with a good overall design and ample water storage, the homes being designed by us at the moment are consistently very high in the energy star ratings.”

To find out what Civic Steel Homes can do for you on your specific site, and how they can create a more sustainable and energy efficient family home for you, phone Shane Windsor on 0419 710 714 or visit

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