Sustainable Solutions

Our Process

The team at All Seasons Building and Construction (ASBC) are dedicated to providing energy efficient and easy to maintain living spaces that the whole family can utilise and enjoy.

The way we achieve this, is through careful selection of materials used for the project and specific installation processes to maximise their efficiency.

Ways to maximise the efficiency of the building:

We look to the future for both sustainable building practices and eco friendly products to give our clients up to date information about ways to cut both their household running costs and minimise their impact on the surrounding environment.

The following are ways to maximise the efficiency of the building process and to minimise ongoing household running cost:

  • orientation of living areas and glazing to the north
  • locating thermal mass walls where it is exposed to direct sun light
  • insulation of floors, walls and ceiling
  • self closing exhaust fans
  • sealing of external wall frames to flooring
  • draught sealing all doors and windows
  • creating a floor plan with the living areas facing the north
  • bedrooms to the east or south
  • where additional heating is required we will suggest geothermal or slab heating, solar vented or heatrecovery ventilation systems
  • energy efficient heating systems placed next to high thermal mass walls and away from windowsand passage ways
  • all window coverings to have a pelmet or blind recessed into the ceiling to prevent heat loss through the glass

Passive cooling maximises the efficiency of the building envelope by minimising heat gain from the external environment and facilitating heat loss.
This can be achieved by:

  • orientation and size of windows to maximise cool breeze ventilation
  • reduce internal barriers to increase air flow throughout the home
  • ceiling fans to assist in circulation
  • floor plan zoning
  • avoid extensive glazing on east and west sides
  • adequate insulation
  • use of light coloured roofs to reflect solar radiation with star rated energy
  • efficient air conditioners

On projects where pier and bearer construction method is used, we install
rigid polystyrene foil faced boards or concertina foil between the joists. This is installed prior to the flooring being laid and all plumbing penetrations are taped and sealed using reflective tapes.

On brick veneer projects we install sisalation directly to studs with the correct fasteners overlapping the top paper over the bottom and taping all joints with reflective tape to maximise its performance.
We then install UV plastic flashing around all windows and doors to minimise heating or cooling losses around these areas. Insulation batts are installed to the opposite side of these.

Wall insulation is a minimum of R 2.8 which is achieved by using a combination of both sisalation and bats, installed with no gaps or voids, leaving the correct margin around power points and light switches. Installation of insulation to weather board projects is much the same, however perforated sisalation is used as well as a thermal break in areas of high direct sunlight to minimise heat transfer.

When colourbond roofing system is to be used, we install a reflective blanket directly under the roofing sheets, installed so that any condensation will flow to the gutter overlap, the joining method is as per manufacturers recommendation for the product used.
In addition to the blanket, high R rated bulk bats are installed in the ceiling cavity to give the maximum possible insulation value.

All down light and roof fittings have the appropriate gaps left to prevent a fire hazard.
On tiled or slate roofs, sisalation is installed under the battens, again laid in such a manner to route condensation into the gutter.

We ensure that the effort put into heating and cooling the project is maximised, by installing draught protection to windows and doors, ensuring all window and door seals are correctly installed so all window and door frames are sealed to the frame at time of install and arcs are close fitting and sealed to the window frame and wall lining.

The sealing of wall bottom plates and skirting is another step we put in place to help eliminate air leakage and installation of self closing exhaust fans.

There are many advantages to reusing waste water such as;

  • a reduction of water bills resulting in lower costs to run the project
  • less pressure on water resources
  • ability to water your garden during water restrictions or times of drought
  • a reduction of pollution in waterways
  • saving money on infrastructure for water supplies and waste treatment
  • treated grey water can be reused for toilet flushing and clothes washing, two of a households biggest users of water. If an efficient waste water system is installed at the time of build, the extra cost of installation is very worthwhile after the cost savings on yearly water bills and services.

We ensure the hot water solution chosen for the project is the right one as there are many choices such as solar, gas instant, gas storage, heat pump and electric storage. Some things to consider are

  • household size, not just are the time of the build, but future requirements
  • costs, not only the price of the system and installation but the operating cost over the life of the system
  • available energy source
  • local climate
  • location of wet areas to the unit and distance the hot water will need to travel to maintain its temperature
  • town planing or building controls that limit solar panels being placed on north facing roofs

Solar hot water is by far the most fuel efficient and cheapest to run and this is our preferred system.

Lighting in homes consumes 8-15% of the average household electricity budget. Lighting design and user behaviour can make a significant difference to running costs, so efficient and well designed lighting can yield yearly house hold energy savings.
On all projects where natural light is not available, only LED and CFL lighting systems are recommended. There are four main factors to consider when selecting lighting for a project;

  1. the power of the light – the cost of running the light is directly related to the wattage. CFL and LED lights are low wattage, so this results in much lower running costs
  2. how long will you use the lights for – keep running costs down by only using light when necessary and fitting a timer or sensor
  3. light fittings – using down lights rather than pendant or florescent fittings, will mean you will have to install more lights, so your overall running costs will be higher
  4. task or accent lighting – used to light a specific task such as reading, sewing, cooking, homework or hobbies

Another thing to keep in mind is the switching process, does the light need to be on for extended periods or would fitting a sensor cut down the time the light would be required. Also, is the light in a part of the house or outside and not easily seen, if so a switch which is illuminated whilst in the on position would alert the home owner when its on.

Another good point to remember is that all down lights and light fitting holes to the celling space create a hole to the insulation barrier.
The high operating temperatures of many lamps and down lights demand a fire safety requirement for additional space to each light fitting at the edge of the insulation to prevent risk of fire under Australian standard 3700-2007.

There are ten easy steps to designing an effective lighting plan in a project with a sustainable outcome in mind.
1. design a house that does not need artificial lighting during daylight hours
2. consider the orientation and layout of rooms to best use available light
3. use surface reflectance off light coloured surfaces and well positioned pendant and wall lights, for good light distribution in a room
4. decide on the type or types or ambience you want to create in each room during night-time use
5. for more than one type of ambience, adjust light levels (dim lights) or turn different lights on or off
through different lighting circuits
6. create task or accent lighting with directional lighting
7. use warm coloured lamps for the home, except possibly for the bathroom and laundries where the cooler coloured lamps provide an appearance of a sterile environment
8. create general lighting with non directional lighting
9. before selecting a lamp for a room, identify relevant attributes for illuminating each room (e.g quick start up, long life lamp, dimmable, multi-way switching
10. getting the “right amount of light“ to create the ambience you want, you need to think about lumens which measure the total amount of visible light emitted by true source, not wattage (power)

Following these easy steps will help the team at ASBC build projects with a lighting plan that will minimise the on going costs of the construction long after the project is complete.

Household appliances account for up to one-third of energy consumption and about 45% of greenhouse gas emissions in the average household.
Heating and cooling consumes the highest percentage at around 40%,
water heating 21% and appliances 33%.

When selecting appliances for a project we keep in mind its operational running cost, maintenance costs, disposal after its service life and if there is a building design or layout we can implement to reduce its usage.

The main things to look for when selecting a household appliance is to check the Energy and Water ratings, the higher the star rating the more fuel efficient the product will be.

A great way to reduce your power usage for home entrainment equipment is to install stand by power controllers, these systems can be easily installed and reduce the running costs associated with leaving appliances on or in standby mode for prolonged periods of time .

There are many different ways to adapt renewable energy to a building project and there are many choices available such as;

  • photovoltaic modules, convert sunlight into electricity
  • wind generators, using the wind to turn a generator or turbine
  • micro-hydro generators, converting energy from flowing water

With all of these options it is important to chose the right system suited to the topographic location of the project.
At All Seasons Building and Construction we will endeavour to integrate a renewable energy source to every project. With careful planning and working closely with architects and building designers, we will make a feature out of renewable energy, adding value to the project while helping to reduce the impact on the environment.

At All Seasons Building and Construction we look at ways to minimise waste on all our builds.

We reduce consumption of resources by ensuring our estimated quantities are as close to the required amount possible. We make sure our ordering system delivers materials required at time of installation to minimise spoil or loss on site.

We reuse existing building materials where possible and source renewable and recycled timber products to give our projects that unique appeal. Recycling timber and materials from an existing house in an extension will inadvertently cut construction costs, which not only makes our product more financially viable but a more sustainable option as well.

Recycling of demolition products and reducing the amount of waste we deposit in landfill is a company policy. There are many building materials that can be easily recycled; steel, aluminium, timber, concrete, glass, carpet, bricks, tiles and plastics can all be recycled.
By working closely with waste management companies and the supply of a few smaller bins and the sorting of debris, a great deal of building waste can be recycled. Some places will take rubbish at a lower cost if it is sorted, again not only cutting the cost of building but lowering the impact on landfill sites.