Room positioning and zoning
If your main requirement is keeping your home cool, place your living areas (where you spend most time) to the north or east. In summer, the sun is high overhead and these areas will be cool and can generally catch cool afternoon breezes. In winter, the sun will enter these living areas making them warm and sunny.
You can then place the laundry, garage and bathrooms to act as heat buffers on the western side of the house, where you spend less time.
The Queensland climate allows many home owners to also take advantage of outdoor living areas. Position these living areas like pergolas and decks, away from the western sun.
Outdoor living areas such as courtyards, verandahs and balconies should be suitably shaded. When fully covered, these areas provide a practical extra living space.
If you live in southern Queensland, you can also place deciduous plants and vine-covered pergolas on the northern side because they provide shade in summer and let in winter sun.
Close doors, windows and curtains in rooms you are cooling to cool these areas of your home more quickly.
If you have a newer central-ducted air conditioner, use zoned controls to just cool the parts of the home that you need to.
Your air conditioning and heating systems should be zoned to cool or heat only those areas occupied to save energy.