The Suburban Minimalist House - Almost time to move in!

It was a cold day for the final defects meeting at the Suburban Minimalist House. The clients were very happy though and were looking forward to moving in next week. 

Despite the weather, the inside was warm and comfortable, even without the heating system on, and the large north facing windows of the living area was flooded with light.

AUSTRALIA’S BUILDINGS MUST BE BUILT FOR A ZERO CARBON FUTURE

Energy standards in Australia’s National Construction Code must be urgently upgraded if new buildings are to be fit for a zero carbon future, according to the report released by The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and ClimateWorks Australia.

The report, Built to Perform: An Industry Led Pathway to a Zero Carbon Ready Building Code, shows that setting strong energy standards for new buildings in the Code could, between now and 2050, reduce energy bills by up to $27 billion, cut energy network costs by up to $7 billion and deliver at least 78 million tonnes of cumulative emissions savings.

Habitech’s Managing Director Chris Barnett is part of the ASBEC Sustainable Housing Task Group which helped to commission this research. You can read the report here.

Pegasus House Delivering Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in NZ

Our New Zealand Pegasus house, a collaborative project with our partner LiteGreen Projects, was featured on PrefabNZ recently for it's energy efficiency and sustainable credentials.

The owners extensive research into prefab construction, with it's superior insulation qualities along with efficient build times, brought them to LiteGreen Projects and our structural insulated panel (SIPS) system.

Their dream to build a quality, durable home that would be stylish, comfortable, healthy and affordable, built using sustainable design principles was fulfilled and completed end of last year.

Read the full article here: http://www.prefabnz.com/News/Pegasus-home-prefab-building

Beaufort Nimbus House Lockup Stage

Panels are up, roof is on, windows are in and the dogs have started exploring... our Beaufort Nimbus House is progressing and owners Marianne and Gail can't wait to move in.

The house is located on a former pine plantation and surrounded by eucalyptus forest. Over time the owners intend to rehabilitate the landscape with native planting and a small farm.

This is an example of our standard Nimbus design, with smaller versions available too. The house will be completely off-grid with its own solar electricity, rainwater and wastewater treatment systems.   

ArchDaily Featured our Mornington Beach Houses Project

It's good to see our Mornington Beach Houses project still getting traction and this time from the global architecture website ArchDaily - The World's most visited Architecture Website. 

Check out the web page here

NSW Millthorpe House well underway

Here's a look at one of our collaborative NSW projects under construction. With most of the wall panels already in-place on this rural site, we're not far off creating a fully sealed shell for this family home. 

The images below show the full extent of the build with three interlocking pavilions, capturing all of the views and sun this stunning site has to offer. 

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"80's nightmare to 21st century dream"

We were pleased to see Lunchbox Architect featured our Lawes Street Extension over the weekend. However they may have been a bit harsh in calling the old 1980's brown brick facade an '80s atrocity, but to be fair the fresh new timber cladding is a vast improvement. 

Read the full article here: https://www.lunchboxarchitect.com/featured/lawes-street-extension-habitech-systems/

CELEBRATING AT THE MORNINGTON BEACH HOUSE

Our clients Craig and Robyn, the owners of the Mornington Beach-houses, celebrated their win at the 2018 HIA National Awards, for the "Australian Townhouse / Villa Development of the Year", by inviting us and the builders for some celebratory drinks and a sing-along in their beautiful new home, making use of the fireplace during a cold and wintry evening.

Visit the project page here for more info.

Award Winning Mornington Beach House

 Congratulations to Craig & Carolyne McPhan from Individual Builders and Craig & Robyn the proud owners of the Mornington Beach-houses. 

Congratulations to Craig & Carolyne McPhan from Individual Builders and Craig & Robyn the proud owners of the Mornington Beach-houses. 

Our Mornington Beach-houses project has just won an award at the 2018 HIA National Awards in Singapore for "Australian Townhouse / Villa Development of the Year" thanks to Craig McPhan and the team at Individual Builders. It was the only Victorian project to win an award this year.

This project on the Mornington foreshore consists of two double storey houses on a lot facing Mills Beach and bordering the mouth of Tanti Creek, capturing endless views over Port Phillip Bay with Bush vistas behind. Visit the project page here for more info.

Extension by the canal

This week we feature one of our upcoming extension projects situated next to Elster Creek in the inner suburb of Elwood, Melbourne. 

The project upgrades the existing dwelling with new kitchen, living room, bathroom and laundry facilities all integrated into a small addition toward the rear. The living areas are surrounded by double glazing and the Habitech Wall Panel System, ensuring high thermal performance year-round. 

Photos below from our recent site visit show the extension at lock-up stage with a dark grey coat of Dulux paint. 

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NEW STAFF MEMBERS!

Here at Habitech Systems we've been busy growing recently, which means new staff members. We would like to welcome Nooshin Roohani and Emiko Phillips to the Habitech family.

Nooshin is appointed as a Senior Architectural Documentor here at Habitech. She comes to us with a great deal of architectural experience and a Masters in Architecture. Nooshin has a strong passion in sustainable and modular design with a fine creative eye for designing environmentally friendly spaces.

Emiko is appointed as our Office Administrator, she comes from a environmental science background with a strong interest in sustainability and conservation. Emiko is a passionate environmentalist devoting her spare time volunteering for not-for-profit organisations and bush regeneration groups.

Check out all our new and current staff members on our 'About Us' page here.

Energy productivity - the shelter value proposition

Energy efficiency is one thing, but have you ever thought about the idea of energy productivity? Essentially we are looking at the value delivered from every unit of energy used. 2xEP, an initiative from The Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity (A2EP) is a voluntary and aspirational target for our economy. This stretch target challenges our current products and services, business models and attitudes in order to facilitate a shift towards essentially getting more value out of our energy. 

At Habitech, we have been privileged enough to feature as a case study in A2EP's latest report categorising us as an 'innovative business system'. The assessment criteria for an increase in energy productivity works alongside Habitech's business goals through using high-performing sustainable materials as well as incorporating optimal structural design in our projects. 

You can view the full report on A2EP's website here

 Image from 2xEP - Innovation to Improve Energy Productivity in the Shelter Value Chain publication

Image from 2xEP - Innovation to Improve Energy Productivity in the Shelter Value Chain publication

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN ALSO FEATURED OUR LAWES STREET PROJECT

It was great to see Architecture and Design also showcasing our Lawes Street Extension project on their website as the "Sustainable timber-clad transformation of a Victorian cottage". Architecture and Design is Australia's largest media resource for architecture, building and design so we were very happy to see our project featured on their home page.

Check out the website here.

LAWES STREET EXTENSION SHOWCASED ON THE LOCAL PROJECT

We were excited to be contacted by The Local Project this week who were interested in showcasing our Lawes Street Extension project on their website. The Local Project is a design-based platform showcasing Australia's rich design industry in architecture, interiors, product design and much more.

Check out the project page here, which includes photos taken by our photographer Nic Granleese.

SUBURBAN MINIMALIST SITE VISIT

Getting out of the office to visit a site is always exciting; and here at Habitech Systems we like to get everyone involved so they can get a good understanding of our projects and to see our wall panels doing their job. 

We visited the Suburban Minimalist house in Surrey Hills recently, the site was still under construction but the wall and roof panels were up with glazing installed, creating a fully locked-up fabric shell. Already, there is a good sense of the design and functionality around the spaces; naturally guiding you towards the light filled living spaces towards the rear of the block.

Check out the project page here for more info.

NEW SHOTS OF OUR LAWES STREET EXTENSION PROJECT

Our amazing photographer Nic Granleese visited our Lawes Street Extension project in Hawthorn and took these beautiful interior shots. Click here to visit the project page where you can check out the full set of photos, including Nic Granleese's new shots, and you can read more about the project.

Are sustainable homes worth it?

A research project undertaken by PRDNationwide and the Queensland University of Technology has found that sustainable high performance homes sell faster and for more money than their standard equivalents.

It is always great to see the benefits our sustainable homes can bring to our clients while they are living in them. When looking at the long-term benefits, it is exciting that the property market has also caught up and appreciates the effort put into sustainable real estate. 

PRDNationwide's Residential Real Estate 2018 Green Guide which has been funded through the Australian Federal Government outlines some key benefits to having a property with sustainable features, including: 

  • more savings on utility bills and less maintenance
  • reduced construction materials and emissions
  • less days to sell listed property
  • improved comfort and long-term lifestyle
  • higher median price
  • higher resale value

Read more from Jim Malo's Domain article here.

Sanctuary Magazine's Prefab Performer

We were pleased to see our famous NZ project, Andrei’s House, featured in the latest issue of Sanctuary magazine. The two-page spread, found in ‘Prefab Performers’, highlights our sustainable building components and our strong focus on thermal performance and healthy interiors. The article showcases our first NZ concept build constructed by NZ builders LiteGreen, which was made famous on Grand Designs last year.

Read the full article here:
http://www.habitechsystems.com.au/media-articles-sanctuary-autumn-2018

The Future of Energy Monitoring

We have been continuing to work with Bruce Rowse from 8020 Green on an exciting proposal to be able to offer our clients a range of energy monitoring options our future projects.   

Our plan is to install integrated electricity monitoring in each home's circuit board and be able to provide our clients with information on their energy use and any improvements that can be made in operating the house. 

We will be able to supply our clients with neat summaries of total household energy use & solar power generation, including on-site use and export grid breakdowns. If desired we will also be able to more in depth monitoring and report on the energy use of specific appliances and the storage and discharge of battery systems.

This exercise will give an accurate picture of real world energy use that can be contrasted with predictions made by NatHers energy ratings and Passive House calculations.  It will demonstrate the tangible environmental savings provided by our super-insulated airtight fabric in tonnes of emissions that have been offset. 

In an industry context of energy ratings usually being on paper rather than in houses when they are built, it will also verify the real ongoing financial benefits of choosing our energy efficient method over conventional construction.  

We expect to announce an offer on our integrated monitoring systems in the near future. 

 
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Bruce is an energy and sustainability consultant who produced excellent analysis and monitoring for our Reservoir House project - http://8020green.com/

His energy monitoring of the house shows that it is an net energy exporter of 4,156kWh per annum from a 7.6KW solar system. This equates to an average total energy use of 16.9kWh per day, which is  is approximately 57% that of an average 6 star home in Victoria.  
  
Bruce installed individual meters to monitor the annual consumption across the household in diminishing order: Light and Power 36%; Space Heating & Cooling 18%;  Kitchen 18%; Hot Water 16%; Heat Recovery Ventilation 12%.

 
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Improving energy efficiency standards makes economic sense

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) have released a report demonstrating the economic benefits of building better insulated homes. The report includes several case studies including Habitech’s Reservoir House.

The research reveals that savings of up to $150 per household would be achieved if the National Construction Code's energy standards for houses and apartments were improved. It also shows that these bill savings would outweigh the required capital investment, shoring up the financial case for change.
By contrast, because the houses we build today will be used for decades to come, delaying these energy efficiency measures locks in hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs and increases carbon emissions.
Habitech’s Managing Director Chris Barnett is part of the ASBEC Sustainable Housing Task Group which helped to commission this research. You can read the report here.