Energy Efficient Homes

Insulation types

There are broadly three types of house insulation:

  • Bulk insulation includes batts (fibreglass, wool, polyester), foam panels and pump-in shredded paper. Insulation traps air to slow heat flow and typically work well in summer and winter.
  • Reflective foil insulation reflects radiant heat from its shiny surface. It requires at least a 25 mm air gap next to the shiny surface to work optimally.
  • Composite batts are a mix of the above, including batts with foil surfaces, bubble wrap sandwiched between foil and other combinations.

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Most building companies focus on what is the most cost effective way of meeting the minimum energy rating to satisfy the local council. At Garth Chapman we consider carefully all the important design and inclusion attributes of each home to maximise the energy efficiency and minimise the energy costs over the life of the home. This individual service and dedication comes naturally to the entire Garth Chapman team.

Australia is amongst the highest in ecological footprint per capita in the world and a significant part of this is due to the energy consumption.
Maximum comfort, Minimum Energy input- that’s the Traditional Queenslander.
Our homes are designed so that our clients are able to adapt to their indoor living areas with little use of heating and cooling appliances.

We design our homes climate responsively!

Design & Inclusion Features that provides Energy Efficient Homes & improves Sustainability

The main aspects of an energy efficient home
How a Garth Chapman Queenslander is energy efficient

Passive solar design.

Passive solar design is achieved by carefully orienting the house to control direct sunlight from entering windows and other openings during hot summer months, while not blocking the passage of cool breezes. And in winter, the sunlight should be allowed to enter the windows and other openings.

Wide Verandahs, Window Hoods, and Eaves are the most efficient construction methods to establish good solar design.
In addition, careful consideration of the local climate, the aspect of the land, the orientation of each Garth Chapman home and the design layout will maximise this efficiency further.


Control of airflow into and through the house is important for comfort. In summer this is vital, especially in QLD and warmer regions of Australia.

In winter, there should not be excessive entry of cold air from outside into the house via windows and doors. Placement of these assets requires individual thought for each site. The use of quality window furnishings by the owners will assist substantially here. However, as we experience very mild winters comparatively the concentration on the summer ventilation factors is the most important.

The cross flow of air in each room and across the house removes any hot air from the house very quickly. By having 3 openings to each closable room allows for good ventilation. The standard inclusion in a Garth Chapman Queenslander of breezeways above up to 4 bedroom doors in each home provides continual airflow.
Lining up windows and doors on each side of the house creates a tunnel effect that ensures not matter where the breeze originates it will move thru the house.
High ceilings keep warm air away from the occupants.
The unique construction method of a Garth Chapman verandah ensures a constant convection of hot air being removed from the verandahs and the roof space via the roof vent – even on a dead still day.
Our Clients are encouraged to include the installation of fans in living rooms and bedrooms. The movement of air by a fan is all that is required on most hot days and nights to naturally cool the occupants.


Insulation will make your home a lot more comfortable to live in and far more energy efficient. The higher the R value, the greater the insulating effect.

For many years, certainly before the current energy efficiency spotlight was cast, the Garth Chapman standard inclusion provided for insulation in all ceilings and external walls.

Like many other superior standard features in a Garth Chapman home we make inclusion decisions for our clients that make sense, create value, and provide comfort and energy cost savings for the life of the house.

Where to insulate

The ceiling is a high priority for insulation, because this is where the greatest amount of heat enters a home in summer. As much as 35%. In winter, up to 40% of the heat inside a home can be lost through the ceiling. It is worth noting that between 15% and 25% of the heat entering a home in summer does so through uninsulated walls. In winter, between 10% and 30% of heat is lost through the walls.

Building materials

In areas of ‘hot days and nights’, use elevated flooring and light construction materials. Light coloured roofing materials, verandahs, window hoods, roof vents and ventilation eaves also helps to minimise solar heat entering the house.

In areas of ‘hot days and cool nights’, use concrete slab floors and heavy construction materials. Light coloured roofing materials and ventilated eaves also helps to minimise solar heat entering the house.

Queenslanders have been integrated in the hot day & night climate for over 100 years. The modern Garth Chapman Queenslander has taken the best aspects of the past and added the benefits of modern materials and know how.

The “Sandstone” Colonial satisfies the “cool nights” locations.  However, due to many other design attributes, such as wide verandahs, this form of home will also perfectly suit a ‘hot night’s’ environment. Alternatively, standard cladding on a slab floor is energy efficient and the most cost effective way of owning a Garth Chapman home.

Hot Water Systems

Use solar or gas hot water systems to save energy

Instantaneous gas hot water system standard

Tap ware


Use energy efficient lighting

Improving Water Efficiency

  • Landscape with water wise plant and turf species, mulches, soil conditioners and sensored irrigation systems.
  • Install hot water recirculation systems.
  • Use dual flush toilets, taps and shower heads that have the most stars.
  • Install rainwater tanks and greywater systems for internal and external use.