It's all in the details - how do Habitech houses significantly raise the bar for high performance, properly insulated houses in Australia (like the rest of the world builds)? A crucial part of the answer lies in the performance of thermal bridges in our projects. Whilst our modular wall and roof systems have been designed to eliminate such 'thermal gaps', ensuring external temperatures are not carried into interior spaces through concrete slabs is an important detail not to miss.
This is a recent development within the Australian building industry, although we're glad to say it was recently introduced into the Building Code, as a requirement for concrete slabs with hydronic heating installed in them. Slab edge insulation can be difficult to build effectively and we have seen many poorly installed (yet still certified?) examples of it, in and around Melbourne. We go to great efforts to get this process right and effectively insulate extreme hot and cold temperatures away from our concrete slabs - using extruded polystyrene insulation boards with a detail that works into our bottom plate detailing.
For our Hawthorn Solar Extension project we have used a waffle pod slab, both for thermal performance and to match floor levels to the existing 1860's front section of the house on the site. While waffle pod slabs have had some bad press lately due to poor volume builder soil testing and building practices, we prefer them for their insulated thermal performance and minimisation of (high emission) concrete volumes.