At GeoExchange Australia we sell mechanical heating and cooling systems. We do this in the form of high efficiency heat pumps that provide a high level of indoor comfort and save energy (money) while enabling buildings to move towards a renewable energy future.

What we do not do is specify a heat pump system before we have understood the base building and how it will contribute to comfort and running costs. There is little point in specifying a high efficiency system that will still waste a lot of money through poorly insulated, shaded, glazed or positioned buildings. Sure, it will cost less than any other but there is a larger responsibility to the building occupant and the environment. Just as the LEAF Design Philosophy provides our focal point for high efficiency mechanical heating and cooling systems, it is just as relevant for passive building elements.

As this article illustrates, it’s extremely important to get the base building of homes correct as the rest flows from there. In the wake of increased cooling demand and power outages during a heatwave in Melbourne, the article shows the importance of the base building in a homes comfort and running costs. In summary:

  • using available technology could provide almost $20 billion in savings for owners of residential and commercial buildings by 2030.
  • most business and households could reduce energy consumption by around 30 per cent with a payback of under four years.
  • the energy efficiency sector could also contribute more than half of the federal government’s national energy productivity target of lifting efficiency 40 per cent by 2030.
  • along with the benefits of lower energy use for the same – or even better – comfort levels, more efficient buildings would also place less load on the electricity grid.


Image Source: CSR’s eight-star demonstration house, SMH