Renew Issue 143

Autumn issue – Flooring options, windows guide + more

ReNew 143 is our annual building materials special. Inside you’ll find our window buyers guide along with case studies showing how 9 households went about their glazing upgrades. Plus we look at flooring systems, including both the sub-floor structure and floor coverings, analyse where solar feed-in tariffs are heading, evaluate the economics of gas vs electricity for home appliances and look at the Living Building Challenge through the eyes of a project aiming to meet this rigorous standard. Plus much more!

Issue Contents:

Issue 143 is hot off the press and full of advice for your sustainable home this autumn. As always, ReNew comes overflowing with articles to satisfy both the technically and the not-so-technically minded. Regardless of whether your interest is upgrading your windows, understanding solar payments or preparing your home for an electric vehicle, there is something for everyone in this issue.

ReNew 143 has a special focus on building materials. Inside you’ll find:

Special feature: Building materials

You’ll be floored by this!

There’s more to a floor than meets the eye. Lance Turner reviews the options for sustainable flooring, both the sub-floor structure and the top floor coverings.

Material beauty

We take a look at how the materials choices were made in this sustainable renovation.

Window and film buyers guide: Windows that perform

Poorly performing windows can drag down the performance of your home. We present the options to improve them.

Replacing the windows

Three homeowners tell how they went about sourcing quotes and choosing the materials for their full window replacements.

Adding secondary glazing

Another approach is to leave the glass in place and add secondary glazing or a window film. Here are four case studies of homeowners who’ve done this, some DIY, others not.

Replacing the glass

One way to upgrade your windows is to just replace the glass. We hear from two homeowners who’ve taken this approach.

Other features


Paul Hawken’s project ranks and quantifies realistic solutions to combat climate change.

Living Building Challenge

A look at how one project is addressing the rigorous requirements of the Living Building Challenge, which aims to have buildings benefit the environment they’re in.

Meeting the water petal

Dominique Hes explores the challenges of meeting the water requirements of the Living Building Challenge.

Time to fuel switch?

The ATA has updated its analysis comparing the costs of switching from gas to electricity, this time including solar in the equation.

Off-grid on the edge

One household’s journey to going off-grid on the edge of the city to beat the blackouts.

Feed-in tariffs that vary by time

Analysis of the Victorian proposal for solar payments that vary by time of day.

Electric vehicles

EVs and emissions

Bryce Gaton revisits his 2012 analysis comparing emissions from an EV and a petrol-powered car.

Preparing your home for an EV

Is your electrical system up to the task of charging an EV?—what you need to think about before getting an EV at home.


The Pears Report: Risky business?

Transforming our energy system may prove far less risky than propping up traditional over-built electricity supply, suggests Alan Pears.

Member profile: A window on a life in building efficiency

A physicist by training, Peter Lyons has spent two and a half decades involved with housing energy efficiency—in particular the role of windows, and windows ratings systems. He talks to Anna Cumming.