How Energy Efficient is your Home?

The Victorian Government have recently developed a Residential Efficiency Scorecard for Victorians to better understand the energy performance of their homes and how they can improve the quality of their living environment whilst saving money on their energy bills.

An accredited assessors would use the government supported scorecard webtool to rate the energy efficiency of your home and provide a star rating just like your fridge or washing machine.

Check out the video below to give you a quick intro and find out more about the scorecard and how you can get your house assessed here.

Making Homes More Energy-Efficient

How do you get a truly energy-efficient home, and can smart home technologies help or make things worse?

Take a listen to a recent interview with Dr Stephen White, head of the CSIRO's Energy Efficiency Research, and Associate Professor Yolande Strengers, Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT, on ABC Radio National Making Homes More Energy Efficient here.

Dr Stephen White and Associate Professor Yolande Strengers discuss with the host Amanda Smith recent research published by The University of Melbourne, that found that people are willing to pay more for energy efficient housing, making the case for a mandatory national rating system for existing homes. Read the full article here.

ABC RN Interview: http://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgx6XXPBn6?play=true

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