Bilgola Design provides a range of building design services with a primary focus on Environmental Sustainability. Where possible in business and life generally we strive to live by the principle, expressed in the phrase of Dr David Suzuki's - "Think Globally, Act Locally." Whilst we support the use and utilisation of renewable energy systems, such as solar and wind generation and believe they have a considerable part to play in the energy efficiency of buildings, we believe that in focusing primarily on the importance of getting the fundamentals of the buildings in which we live and work correct, that enormous energy savings can be achieved. This means to reduce as much as possible the fossil fuel energy requirements of a building by achieving thermal comfort and efficiency through good design and orientation.
Thermal efficiency means basically maximum comfort with minimum energy inputs. In assessing the thermal performance of a building, we measure the building’s ability to achieve comfortable internal conditions through all seasons, temperature and atmospheric changes, with minimal input from mechanical or artificial energy sources.
In designing such systems consideration is also given to minimising the use of materials, which have a high embodied energy, the energy used to produce and transport the material to its final location. These are measured in mega joule per Kilogram (MJ/KG). Weighing the advantages of using a high embodied energy material for a long term gain and ongoing thermal comfort and energy savings are some of the considerations balanced.
The benefits of sustainable design and a house with good thermal performance are numerous, and present ongoing advantages to the occupants. Improved thermal comfort and clean fresh air also contribute and translate into good health and vitality, not only helping one feel better on a daily basis but improve the long-term health prospects of individuals and family units. For those who believe in the connection between healthy body, mind and spirit or energy levels, these benefits are clear and without question, however for all people, regardless of belief systems, high thermal performance gives the occupants the opportunity to have a healthier and more comfortable home that costs less to heat and cool and also reduces the impact of energy consumption on our financial resources and our environment.
In designing the energy efficient and thermally comfortable dwelling, consideration is given to the following criteria or areas where one can effect change.