09/04/2008 - 22:00

Housing market goes green

09/04/2008 - 22:00

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Sustainable housing developer Evoke Developments is expecting busy times ahead as the green building movement becomes more mainstream.

Sustainable housing developer Evoke Developments is expecting busy times ahead as the green building movement becomes more mainstream.

Leederville-based Evoke Developments was founded by former Mirvac employees Steve Kinchin and Jeff Thierfelder in 2006 to focus on developing habitat with a low ecological footprint.

The two business partners believe that achieving the five-star green ratings for residential developments is poised to receive greater interest from the community as energy supplies become more uncertain worldwide.

In May 2007 the Federal Building Code increased the efficiency requirements for housing to five-star from three and a half-stars, and to five-star plus in September 2007.

“When you submit for a building license you have to be assessed by going through the ‘deemed to comply’ series of calculations or have an assessment completed by a qualified sustainability assessor,” Mr Thierfelder said.

According to him, the ‘deemed to comply’ process is used by most developers as it is quicker and often only requires minor changes to the original design.
Mr Kinchin said that Evoke Development designs fully comply with the five-star green rating requirements as it includes careful placement of windows, shading, insulations and good cross ventilation in its designs.

“You basically apply design principles to use the sun to heat the house in the winter and shadings to cool the house in the summer,” he said.

Evoke is currently developing Canning Vale Eco-Housing, a sustainable small lot housing of 10 units for Cedar Woods, which includes features such as north facing courtyards, a passive solar design and balanced glazing ratios.

Although each sustainable development has to take into account the type of block and the environment, the company is discussing a deal with a developer to work on a sustainable house prototype which could work on different types of blocks.

A five-star home uses approximately 50 per cent less energy for heating and cooling compared to an average home, which can result in savings of up to $300 per year in gas and electricity bills.

In January 2008 the business moved to new premises in Leederville and the directors appointed their first employee a couple of weeks ago.

Mr Thierfelder said that they are hoping to hire five to seven people in the next couple of years.

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