The Australian Glass Group offers a range of energy efficient glass solutions that are just the thing for Vince from Kelly’s Joinery. Insulglass double glazed units and the Climashield laminate ranges promote warmth and comfort, while louvres and standard window treatments offer more light; better cross ventilation and smarter, more economic cooling in summer.

Great glass is just one component of the complete picture. Envirosmart architecture and building methods combined with energy efficient building materials will help to reduce overall energy consumption costs associated with artificial climate control.

Vince is passionate about eco friendly homes and he builds homes throughout NSW that are both beautiful and energy efficient. He brags tirelessly about the benefits of mudbrick and straw construction. “These homes are carbon sinks. Mudbrick and straw absorb carbon emissions in the same way a tree does. Mudbrick homes look great, are affordable and suitable in any climate.”

In achieving his dream of a smaller enviro footprint, Vince builds homes that are positioned to take advantage of the sun’s daily path and accommodate seasonal weather patterns. He predominantly uses Australian hard woods from renewable forests, recycles materials and buys products that support achievement of the high efficiency ratings. “We aim to use all natural materials; Sydneysiders have a great resource in their own backyard, which doesn't require much energy to access. The Sydney basin is largely a clay pan mixed with silty sand that makes a quality brick”, Vince explains. “We teach the home owner/builder to make the bricks; we host training workshops, usually over a weekend with a few BBQs etc. We explore options for efficient lighting and ventilation. It’s the start of a journey, the client has a lot of involvement and input, the house becomes a home, and friendships are formed along the way”.

Glass is an important factor in energy efficiency, and depending on how it is used it can be a home owner’s dream or worst nightmare. In an average home, 49% of heat is lost through the glazing and 87% of heat is gained through the glazing. Good or bad news depending on where the house is within Australia.

Vince’s latest project is a family home for his daughter and her husband who are expecting their first child. Working with Tracey Chester from the Australian Glass Group in Sydney, the home incorporates Climashield laminates that slow heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer for greater comfort. Glass louvres around the living space boost cross ventilation.

Building all over NSW means Vince and the mud and straw constructions have a variety of environments to accommodate. “That’s what makes it so interesting. The mud brick constructions work equally well on the Southern Highlands with double glazed, hard wood window units or beachside on the far north coast where the summer sun is relentless.”

More information on the range of energy efficient glass available can be obtained from Australian Glass Group.