The fit-out of interior elements has continued at our Hawthorn Studio project, with the stairs now fitted. The way in which we fix plaster ceilings below our roof panels can also be seen.
A recent article by Michael Green in the Sunday Age draws attention to the newly released proposal by the Beyond Zero Emissions organisation, showing that retrofitting current buildings with insulation, double-glazing and efficient lighting and appliances, could more than halve their energy use.
Building energy efficiency remains the unsung hero of carbon abatement - offering cost saving emission reductions that can return a $ for each tonne of carbon saved, rather than have to pay for it through a carbon tax, or other pricing mechanism. While Habitech is focussed on dramatically reducing energy use in the new houses we build, retro-fitting the building fabric and technology of existing houses forms a crucial part of lowering the emissions being generated by our household energy use in general.
The Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan focuses on the crucial role of energy efficiency in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The plan documents how quickly, easily and inexpensively cuts could be made, by simply installing solar panels, double glazing and replacing major appliances. These relatively simple changes will not only cut emissions significantly, but also protect consumers from rising energy prices.
We fully support the work of the Beyond Zero Emissions Organisation and its Australian Buildings Plan. The more of these energy efficiency measures households can adopt, no matter what the age of their house, the better of we all will be.
Michael Green article in the Sunday Age: http://www.theage.com.au/domain/-2wtmz.html
Beyond Zero Emissions, Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan: bze.org.au/buildings
Our Hawthorn Studio project has been progressing, with the short time frame to get the building weathertight helping us avoid delays from Spring rains. Some construction images from a patch of good weather are shown here.
We seem to have entered an unintended impressionist stage here at Habitech.
Rendering a design for a house in Brooks Bay, Tasmania, into a photograph of the site, produced an image with a distinct early Australian impressionist feel to it – and we thought a McCubbin reference appropriate.
While generally more influenced by the Angry Penguins than the Heidelberg School, we have great respect for the role the early impressionists such as McCubbin, Streeton and Roberts played in allowing Australians to see their adopted (appropriated) country in a new, distinctly Australian way.
We see architecture and the structures we build in our landscapes being part of this on-going commentary of our relationship to the land. In-line with the impressionist landscape painters, we would like to think Habitech’s approach to design and housing is also opening up new, distinctly Australian options for living in our unique and diverse landscapes.
In the context of Australian art, we see traditional construction being the Eugene von Guerard of housing - still struggling with a colonial mind-set. We seek to move beyond building the same, basically English, housing models as in colonial times – which are, even now, still being built using the same construction technologies as in colonial times.
A big thank you to everyone who came along to the Open Day at our Hawthorn Studio project, on Saturday.
With more than 150 people coming through the property over the day, we really enjoyed meeting a range of people, all with an interest in modern and more sustainable building solutions.
We hope that seeing our system in construction, combined with the animations and time-lapse footage we had running, provided the chance to better understand how our high-performance building fabric goes together.
We are planning to hold similar events at other projects next year, so stay tuned!
We are excited to announce our very first project open day, being held on Saturday 16th of November, at our two-storey Hawthorn Studio project.
The project, which those familiar with our regular news posts have seen, is well into the construction process after six weeks, with the external fabric completed and interior partially fitted-out. However, the building will remain un-plastered for the day - a perfect opportunity for those interested to view our Structural Integrated Panel (SIP) system up close.
Everyone is very welcome to join us for this rare opportunity to see the flexibility, ease and speed that our modular design and construction system provides for inner-suburban projects.
Further details, including open time and location, can be found at www.habitechsystems.com.au/hawthorn-open-day
Following the Open Day we are holding this Saturday, Habitech staff will be attending the National Day of Climate Action rally in Melbourne on Sunday.
We like our science at Habitech and fully support the day of co-ordinated national rallies, as a chance for Australian’s to show their concern that we need to do more to cut down on the atmospheric pollution we produce.
The event is being organised by a coalition of groups with charters to do nothing other than work towards the betterment of our society – people we like and respect.
Details of the rallies and Melbourne event, starting at 11:00am at Treasury Place, can be found at www.theheat.org.au
We also noted recent opinions from those not normally known as 'radical, leftie alarmists' over at PricewaterhouseCoopers, looking at how we are currently tracking to limit likely global temperatures to 2 degrees – which accepts that the barrier reef is unlikely to survive. You can read their article here: ‘Carbon budget to be blown in 21 years’ The Age - http://www.theage.com.au/business/-2wu82.html
As part of our design process, we utilises 3D modelling of our home designs, from schematic design stages right through to the specification and manufacture of our modular wall and roof panels.
An example of the fly-through animations we produce for our clients as part of our design process can be viewed here. In this case, a project in Tasmania on a stunning point, overlooking an inlet of the southern ocean, to the south of Hobart.
These images show further interior details and finishes from our Northcote project. With the staircase installed and kitchen and feature joinery now fitted, the project is moving into the final stages of the fit-out.
The ground floor wall installation in our Hawthorn Studio project was completed under schedule in less than two days. This was with only two carpenters and a labourer on-site.
While the majority of services are located in internal stud walls, powerpoints and hydronic heating supply lines needing to be located on external walls are simply fitted into our wall panels as they are installed.
Some of the details in the design of our extension project in Hampton have been completed and are coming to life.
We are excited to welcome Ryan King to our team at Habitech.
Ryan completed his Bachelor of Architectural Design at RMIT in 2012 and has experience in graphic and web design; the combination of which allows him to create realistic computer generated representations of Habitech's designs. Ryan assists with Habitech's marketing, documentation, and 3D modelling.
The interior of our Northcote House project has been lined with both plasterboard and feature hoop pine. The interior palette for the design features a balance of polished concrete floors, recycled brick party wall, plasterboard ceilings and featured plywood walls.
The wall panels for the ground floor of our Hawthorn Studio project have been installed, with progress from the first day shown in the images below.
The interior of our extension project in Hampton has been plastered. The bridge elements, which connect the extension back to the living spaces of the existing house, are in place, and the interior fit-out of the new living and study space is close to being finished.
Here is a time-lapse video showing how we deliver the outer building fabric for an 8.2 x 4.6 pavilion extension.
With all the materials for the building needing to be carried in through a door at the rear of an existing garage, the build was completed in just four days.
The bottom plates in our Hawthorn Extension have now been fitted, in preparation for the installation of our wall panels next week.
The painting of our project in Northcote has now been completed.
The grinding of the slab for a polished concrete finish has been done at our Hawthorn Studio project, with a great looking result from the specified aggregate and cement mix.
At Habitech we really like the natural stone look and thermal performance of polished slab finishes. They also have the wonderful honesty and efficiency of expressing their material composition - and not needing another layer of 'stuff' to then provide a finished surface.
Further external works and painting have now been completed at our Hampton Extension project.
A dark colour palette has been selected to provide a crisp break from the colours of the existing house and highlight the natural timbers in the deck.