We like to get scientific.
Designing and building a sustainable and liveable home can present significant challenges in Canberra's climate of extremes.
We provide integrated science services to optimise the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.
We use a scientific approach to find solutions specific to each project and site.
Thermal performance modelling at every stage of the design process, and thermal imaging and air leakage testing during construction, are a standard, integrated part of the Light House design and test process for new houses and major renovation/extensions.
The Light House science team also offer a range of stand-alone energy efficiency services, ideal for people who:
1. wish to improve the comfort and efficiency of their home through retrofit measures rather than by making structural changes and doing major renovations.
2. are working with other architecture practices and wish to optimise the thermal performance of their home during the design process.
Light House director and scientist, Jenny Edwards, practices what she preaches and has used this scientific approach on two very personal projects: the renovation/retrofit of her former home and the design and construction of her new smaller, smarter, sustainable home.
Science services include:
THERMAL PERFORMANCE MODELLING / ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATING (EER)
At every stage of the architectural design process (from the early concept design to the final construction plans), we use NatHERS accredited software — BERS Pro — tailored to the climate of the Canberra region to predict each home’s heating and cooling requirements, room by room, and to optimise accordingly. The software requires exact dimensions, orientation, construction methods and materials -- and uses 30 years worth of average hourly weather data, and exact solar position, throughout a year in Canberra -- to calculate how much energy is needed to keep the house comfortable all year round.
BUILDING ENVELOPE TESTING: AIR LEAKAGE & INSULATION
During construction, we use thermal imaging to confirm that the insulation has been installed properly, as well as fan depressurisation to check for air leakage through the building envelope. Our rigorous testing ensures that the completed home performs to the thermal comfort and energy efficiency standard predicted in our theoretical modelling.
We can provide independent, expert advice on improvements to insulation, glazing, air tightness, heating/cooling systems, hot water systems and lighting, plus information regarding the relative benefits and cost of each to your particular home. These services ensure you spend your limited retrofit budget most effectively and get maximum thermal ‘bang for buck’.
You can download more detailed information about our science services HERE.