A more sustainable future
At Habitech we ultimately want to create building fabrics with a positive environmental footprint. Bringing the material performance and efficiency of modern manufacturing to the way we build our houses offers us the chance to build a 'more sustainable' future - for ourselves, our families, our planet and the natural systems we all rely on.
While we are already locking up carbon pollution in our timber based products we are conscious to only use the term 'more sustainable' in relation to our environmental performance. We see this is a reminder that both the delivery and operation of our houses still have very real environmental impacts. A truly sustainable western house is still some way off. This is not to say that we should aim for anything less than this goal.
Our products offer the sort of integrated thinking and clean-tech solution we believe Australia needs if we are to rise to the environmental, economic and social challenges that housing the global population is placing before us. We do not accept 10-15% efficiency gains are going to bring about the scale of change we need to reduce our environmental impacts - with our system delivering 60-70% reductions in energy use and material efficiency.
A more sustainable economy
At a time when Australians are starting to think about what our economic future may be based on when our finite mineral resources run out, we believe Habitech creates the type of new, innovative, clean-tech industry that Australia needs to remain competitive.
Fully designed and manufactured in Australia, we believe the manufacture of Habitech's new generation building components is developing the type of new markets our manufacturing industries need to develop to survive. In conjunction with the design tools we have developed, we plan to take not just alternative building products to the world, but a whole knowledge base of how to design, optimise and deliver high-performance houses.
A more affordable future
The way we build houses in Australia has not changed significantly for over 150 years and the structure of our conventional housing construction is still based on the post and beam approach, first developed by the Greeks in ancient times!
Many renovations too still use exactly the same construction as the original house - without the quality of the original old hardwood timbers and craftsmanship.
With ever increasing cost of on-site labour, this approach to building is a major contributor to the modern housing affordability crisis faced by many Australians. Volume builders delivering low quality housing, based on the repetition of standard designs, are the only affordable option for most Australians, with the cost of inner-city and infill building sky-rocketing.
Compare this to the efficiencies modern manufactured products are able to achieve. We can now buy a car with ABS braking, four air-bags, a fuel efficient engine, seamless digital interface and surround sound for comparatively less than the cost of a car 30 years ago.
The graph below illustrates the relative cost of houses and cars as the complexity of both has increased over time. The cost of our traditional 'sticks and bricks' approach to building houses continues to rise in a direct manner, while manufacturing efficiencies have kept modern cars affordable. Further to the efficiency gains of Henry Ford's original production line, the advent of component based delivery models through the 1980's and 1990's has also greatly influenced the material and cost efficiencies of modern cars, aeroplanes and ships.