A house is really like a football team - there are a number of interdependent components that work together to create thermal comfort and efficiency. However just like a football team, there are some star players, and some weaker ones.
Not all building components contribute equally to the energy efficiency of a house. Research shows that the biggest contributor to improved winter performance is an insulated roof and ceiling. After that, floors carry more weight than walls - from a thermal perspective - and glazing is the weakest link in the house.
Once you understand the basic drivers of energy efficiency though, there are different strategies for each climate - from temperate Sydney, to cool Hobart to tropical Brisbane.
Steve King, former Associate Director of the UNSW Centre for a Sustainable Built Environment, explains:
He also provides some design tips for each individual climate: