In line with our sustainable design philosophy, we consider the energy systems fitted in our houses as part of an integrated system designed to keep you comfortable.
As always, our first design aim is to reduce the amount of energy you need to use in the first place. For example:
- Solar passive design and our super insulated building fabric radically reduce heating and cooling energy.
- High ceilings and tall windows maximise light in all spaces, decreasing or removing the need for lighting during the day.
Heat Recovery Ventilation
Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) systems are commonly used in Europe and the US. They are the ideal choice for cooler climates such as southern Australia where humidity is not an issue and heating is essential. HRV Systems can recover up to 90% of the heat from out going exhaust air. All units provide high quality filtration to improve air quality.
Habitech uses several HRV Systems depending on the project specifics. One of them is the Zehnder Comfoair System - More information on the system can be found here.
Habitech Systems do not sell Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems, but rather we work very closely with a group of manufacturers and suppliers by integrating them into our Habitech house designs. A Google search will result in a number of popular providers.
We design our houses with ducts designed to move low background volumes of fresh air throughout our houses, based on:
- Exhaust ducts - removing moist and polluted air from bathrooms, toilets and kitchen areas.
- Supply ducts - distributing fresh air to living and sleeping spaces.
Our HRV systems also have the advantage of helping distribute heated and cooled air throughout the house and maintain temperatures as different living zones may need.
Heat & Cooling systems
Habitech houses typically require very little heating or cooling. When required, we use hydronic heating, either in concrete floor slabs or as wall-mounted units, dependent on our clients' preference and budget. Hydronic systems distribute heat much better than blasting hot air around, our insulation levels significantly reduce the size of the systems needed to keep you warm.
We use small, responsive and energy efficient air-conditioning where cooling is needed, with the aim of our designs being that they only need operating on days of extreme temperatures.
Hot Water systems
Solar thermal technology is a great, proven method of capturing energy and is highly recommended as a rational cost decision if you plan to live in your house for 5+ years.
We look to boost solar performance with instantaneous gas units, which avoid tank storage losses and in a Victorian context have around 1/3 of the CO2 emissions of electrical boosting.
Heat pump alternatives are an efficient consideration if you:
- Do not have access to mains gas (LPG has significantly higher emission and costs)
- Have infrastructure that can be run from renewable electricity - either from installed PV solar panels or as a future option
In Development - TechPod
Habitech is currently undertaking R&D work on the development of a 'TechPod' component to our building system - delivering all the building services for a modern energy efficient house in an integrated, factory manufactured unit.
Our TechPods operate like small plant rooms and are full of mechanical and technical equipment, with:
- connections for electricity, water, recycled water and waste water
- heating and cooling systems
- hot water
- heat recovery ventilation
- electrical circuit board
- rainwater pumping
- security system
- control systems for all of the above
- the ability to link the entire home’s technology in one place
Our TechPods have been designed to fit into our modular system and are packed with intelligent and energy-efficient technology. They are designed to operate invisibly within our modular homes.
The TechPod forms the 'engine room' of the house, delivering one wall of a kitchen, including refrigerator, oven and pantry. It also delivers one wall of the bathroom, providing a shower, toilet and hand basin couplings. Connections for a separate toilet and vanity basin are also provided in the units.