1 min read

Cross ventilation improves natural indoor air quality and comfort.

Natural light reduces the need for heating and lighting which improves comfort and wellbeing.

Less artificial light provides energy savings.

Discuss the orientation and floorplan of your home with your builder.

Australians spend on average 90 percent of their time indoors. And with indoor environments having a direct impact on our wellbeing and our health, it is important to ensure a good indoor environment quality in both our homes and offices. In fact, the CSIRO has estimated that the cost of poor internal air quality in Australia may be as high as $12 billion per year due to mental and physical ill-health and lost production. Those most at risk are people with weak immune systems, including children and the elderly. While most will only ever experience medium health effects such as headaches or tiredness, others may suffer more serious health effects due to “sick” buildings.

The quality of an indoor environment (e.g. a room) is commonly defined through the following main factors:

  • Light – does the room receive enough daylight throughout the day and is comfortable artificial lighting provided for all other times?
  • External views – does the room allow for distant views that provide a connection to the external environment?
  • Air quality – does indoor air contain sufficient levels of oxygen and acceptable levels of pollutants from internal or external sources?
  • Ventilation – can the room be sufficiently ventilated (preferably naturally but where this is impractical, mechanically) and provide occupants with quality fresh air?
  • Thermal comfort – is the room sufficiently insulated, shaded and conditioned to ensure comfortable temperatures throughout the year?
  • Noise – is the room sufficiently insulated from external noise sources and does it minimise internal reverberation and noise levels?
  • Occupant control – are occupants able to control their environment, e.g. through the opening and closing of windows and blinds and operating heating and cooling services?
  • Materials – do the chosen building materials and finishes have low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and other hazardous components?

Useful Links

YourHome.gov.au - Skylights

YourHome.gov.au - Lighting

YourHome.gov.au - Passive Cooling