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Energy Efficient Design Criteria For Sustainability Housing

Updated on April 7, 2017
Ashish Dadgaa profile image

Ashish Dadgaa is a Construction Manager with 10 years of experience in the Industry. He writes about Home Improvement and maintenance.


Sustainable development gives a chance to people to fulfil their elementary needs and enjoy a good quality life without compromising quality life of next generation. For the past 20 years, it has been marked that the present housing development is totally unsustainable. The energy consumption is very high and its adverse effects got to see on the climate. The construction industry is most responsible for this climate change as half of the CO2 emission is by buildings only. If the carbon emission will continue at the same level then world might face variation in the temperature with dry summer and wet winter. Now designer and builders are responsible to minimise this carbon emission by energy efficient design.

Sustainable design of social housing development has been drawn out after considering three important factors of sustainability such as, economic, social and environmental. These aspects of sustainability are not independent but rather they are interdependent.

The three aspect of sustainable development
The three aspect of sustainable development | Source
Followings are the main design criteria in terms of sustainability, which would consider as an energy efficient design:
1 - Ground Source Heat Pump
2 - Grey Water Waste Systems
3 - Passive ventilation
4 - Sun Tubes

This energy efficient design will require less energy, which will minimise carbon emission and running cost of various cooling and heating systems. It will utilise renewable energy sources, which will not only enhance house air quality but also enhance comfort of living.

Ground Source Heat Pump


Ground source heat pump absorbs the energy from the ground and it utilise the buried pipes to extract the heat from the earth. It is usually utilised for underfloor heating systems or heat radiators and hot water. The heat pump will minimise carbon emission and fossil fuel consumption. It doesn’t require fuel deliveries. It provides hot water and heating to the house by producing less electric bills than conventional electric heating.

Grey Water Waste Systems


Grey water system accumulates waste water from showers, bath and washbasins, then water is being treated and stored in the tank. Later, it is utilised for watering the garden and toilet flushing. Recycling waste water will minimise water cost. This recycling of water will minimise the load on ground water reserves and also minimise the drainage burden. Grey water systems will save a third of household mains water usage.

Passive Ventilation


Passive ventilation is the supply and removal of air through building envelope’s opening by utilising natural wind flow and temperature differences in surrounding of building. Ventilation is very essential inside the house to bring fresh air inside and remove polluted are, stale and moist. Occupants health and comfort level rely on indoor environmental conditions, including air quality, humidity, temperature, noise level and lighting. This could be managed well by detail consideration in passive ventilation design in new development or in existing houses.

Sun Tubes

Sun tubes are effective way of transferring natural daylight inside the house. It enters inside the house via a clear plastic dome and which reflects down on a mirrored pipe and illuminates the internal space. It can be utilised to replace the artificial lights and which will minimise the annual energy consumption of a house. In addition, natural daylight is well known to give excellent quality light compare than artificial light. It is more beneficial to the occupants.

Cost of Proposal

This sustainable design proposal will be affordable as Ground source heat pump’s running cost would be very less compared to direct electric heating. It does saving of 7 tonnes carbon dioxide and $1500 for 100% of space heating and 50% of hot water in one house by using 12kw pump. So, there will be a great amount of saving in price and carbon dioxide emission in this housing development. Where as, installation of a grey water system in individual property could be expensive but its installation in new building or new housing developments will be more cost effective. Additionally, Passive ventilation is a very cheap and environmental friendly approach to ventilate the house and sun tubes are another affordable energy efficient product, which will minimise the annual energy consumption of a house. Once its initial purchase cost is paid then the light will be free of cost throughout the life with zero maintenance.

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© 2017 Ashish Dadgaa


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