"Architects have always known about these principles, but it has only been recently that exposed concrete, for example, has become a fashionable alternative to traditional floor coverings," he says.
How does a heat sink work, and what are the ongoing benefits of incorporating one into a renovation project?
Bonnifait says that when concrete is used in conjunction with glazing that allows ample direct sunlight to enter your home, the natural thermal mass properties of concrete allow it to store the accumulated heat, later releasing that heat as the outside temperature cools.
"The immediate benefit is an increased level of comfort as the interior temperature is kept constant. The longer term benefit is reduced energy consumption and cheaper electricity bills," she says.
How do you stop your house from overheating?
Gibson: "Again, it comes down to fundamentals. Eaves are the first line of defence in blocking out the high, summer sun, which you don't want, while allowing the lower, winter sun to warm your home. Likewise, adequate ventilation will ensure a constant movement of air through the space, lowering the internal temperature."
Isn't it more expensive to include ESD elements into a renovation project?
Bonnifait: "There is a misconception that all ESD principles come with an additional cost. Passive systems, such as those we've been discussing, have no associated technology and therefore, no set-up or ongoing costs. Active systems such as solar panels do have a cost involved, but with our temperate climate, there really is no pressing need to go active in a residential setting," she says.