Low-carbon building and living

You can create an energy-efficient, comfortable home – and potentially save money over time – with these low-carbon house design ideas.

Building a low-carbon home

When building your dream home, a few simple considerations around orientation, construction and energy-efficient features can make a big difference – as Stockland Sustainability Manager, Katherine Featherstone, explains…



Planning for a sustainable house and garden

Here are four things to consider in order to create a comfortable home and reduce your environmental footprint.

Smart heating and cooling home designs

Choosing the right size home for your needs and having a great design can significantly reduce heating and cooling needs and costs. Tips include:

  • Have north-facing living and kitchen areas to maximise natural light and warmth
  • Where possible, have south-facing bedrooms, bathrooms, laundries and any other rooms that don’t get used as often
  • Thinking carefully about your window sizing and placement – smaller windows to the west is best!

Gas or electricity?

Gas has historically been cheaper and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than electricity. However, there is a growing trend towards all-electric homes that use energy-efficient reverse-cycle air-conditioning units to heat/cool homes.

Solar power

If electricity is your primary power source, having solar panels on the roof (a north-facing aspect is the best position) may be worth considering. As well as generating clean energy, having panels generally delivers lower electricity bills, allowing you to recoup the costs over time. A battery connected to the panels not only lets you store power to save you even more money on electricity usage, but you may even be able to sell that stored power back to the grid.

 Solar panels on a home


Stockland homes are ‘solar ready’. This means solar panels can be installed on them without any hassle. Many home builders also offer this ‘solar ready’ option or allow you to opt out of it. This is important because installing solar panels on a roof that isn’t solar ready after construction voids the roof warranty.

Appliances and air conditioning and their impact on energy usage

Buying appliances such as fridges, freezers, tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers with a high-star energy or water ratings are more efficient. This not only makes them cheaper to run, but also helps you reduce your carbon footprint and save water.

Also consider the energy rating of reverse-cycle air-conditioning units as these can have an impact on both the energy efficiency and running costs of your home.

Saving water and sustainable garden design

Using rainwater in your garden and for outside activities like washing the car is a win-win in terms of cost and environmental impact. Ensuring all taps in the home are leak-free is also beneficial.

A low-maintenance and self-sufficient garden can also be beneficial. To create one, you should consider:

  • Using Australian plants that are equipped to handle the local conditions
  • Keeping lawn areas to a minimum. Less work and less water required!

Sustainability and Stockland communities

Stockland communities are leading the way in sustainability and liveability. With easy access to public transport, your daily commute can be much more environmentally friendly. Parks, walking and running tracks and proximity to the likes of schools and shopping centres add to the sustainable way of life.

As a member of the Green Building Council of Australia since 2004, Stockland has actively shaped the development of the Green Star rating tools that set the standards for sustainability.

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