Here are some tips to help you create your cool home for the Regional Building Competition Summer 2020/21

Does your design incorporate the following features?

Orientation and shading

  • House orientated with the long axis running east to west to minimise the wall area exposed to morning and afternoon sun.
  • A cool open plan living area to the north, away from the summer sun. Generous eaves (minimum 800mm) to shade walls and windows.
  • Verandas, external shading devices, trees and shrubs to shade walls and windows, particularly on east and west.
  • Any windows exposed to the sun tinted to keep out the heat.


  • An open plan design with minimal hallways and fewer internal walls for good cross ventilation.
  • Natural air-flow encouraged by use of large, wide opening windows and doors.
  • A minimum of two openings in each room for cross ventilation.
  • Windows and doors placed to capture prevailing south-easterly and north-easterly winds.
  • Roof cavity ventilated with roof and eave vents to reduce heat build-up.

Building materials and colours

  • Lightweight building structures used as they cool quickly at night.
  • If using concrete block walls, these are well shaded to keep them cool.
  • Light colours selected for roof and walls to reflect the heat.

Outdoor rooms

  • Functional outdoor living areas created that are weatherproof, well ventilated and centrally located.
  • Courtyard spaces between pavilions incorporated to create useable outdoor areas and provide access for breezes to enter the home.
  • Outdoor spaces linked to internal living areas with large bi-fold or sliding doors to bring the outdoors in.

Energy savers

  • Large ceiling fans selected to reduce the need for air-conditioning.
  • Solar power and solar hot water selected to access free energy from the sun.

In the garden

  • Garden plan developed to compliment your home design. Vegetation incorporated into design to shade your roof and walls and direct breezes into rooms.
  • Native plants planned in the garden to reduce the need for watering and to attract native fauna.
  • Veggie garden incorporated into plan to provide the family with nutritious fresh food.
  • Rainwater tank included to provide water for the garden and to fill the pool.