27/09/2018 - 09:18

Perth homes win Greensmart awards

27/09/2018 - 09:18

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Two properties in WA have received HIA Greensmart awards, recognising the best in environmentally responsible housing.

Perth homes win Greensmart awards
The SIPS Industries home in South Perth.

Two properties in WA have received HIA Greensmart awards, recognising the best in environmentally responsible housing.

A couple of Western Australian homes have won prizes across three categories in the national Housing Industry Association Greensmart Awards held earlier this month.

SIPS Industries Australia won top spec home, while awards for energy efficiency and water efficiency went to joint winners StepBeyond, Solar Dwellings, and Nulook Homes.

The West Leederville home that won energy and water efficiency accolades features 1.2 kilowatts of battery storage and an app to track energy expenditure.

Its roof is specially designed for rainwater collection, with judges commenting that, “There is little left in water conservation that the home does not address”.

The home was a collaboration between design company Solar Dwellings and builders Nulook Homes, with sustainability research and input from environmental consultancy StepBeyond Business Advisors.

 The West Leederville property includes water-retaining features.

StepBeyond director Adam Marr told Business News the house was primarily designed to cater for his own family, which includes wife (and the business’s chair) Janelle Marr and two children, with three separate apartments on the property giving the potential for flexible future use.

One of these was currently rented out as StepBeyond’s office.

Solar Dwellings director Griff Morris said StepBeyond had a major hands-on role in the project, noting Mr Marr’s passion for sustainability as a driving factor. 

“They wanted to allow for the future,” Mr Morris told Business News.

“They wanted to put in photovoltaics, they have a battery as well, they have a greywater system, and large water tanks.”

Builder and co-founder of Nulook Homes, Peter Edwards, said the company had used a range of materials to maximise water retention and energy efficiency.

He said insulation had been tailored to the specific placement within the home, with polished concrete used to absorb light into the flooring system.

The small space and inclusion of a rooftop garden had provided additional challenges.

“I think what appealed to the judges was maximising the area we had, and fully utilising the product available to get the best outcome that we could,” Mr Edwards told Business News.

Mr Marr said the project was about modelling the possibilities in the residential space, and utilising the Perth climate.

“It’s hard to change the system from a brute force perspective,” he said.

“This was a demonstration of the fact that the system just needs some tweaks, and you can get some really positive sustainable outcomes.”

The winner of the HIA Greensmart spec home was a property in South Perth, designed by SIPS Industries Australia and its building subsidiary, Chalk Build.

The home requires little heating or cooling, and was built using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) that were produced in Fremantle.

SIPS Industries national sales and marketing manager Lee Morris said the property was designed as a contemporary piece of architecture, but also had a system to allow for airflow, and required minimal heating or cooling.

He said the pre-manufactured panels used were environmentally friendly, low weight, and naturally insulated.

A laminated composite of timber and polystyrene foam, the panels can be used in the floor, roof and walls of homes.

SIPS Industries has produced the panels since 2009.

“With the SIPS panels system you get this beautiful warm home in the winter, and a cool home in the summer,” Mr Morris told Business News.

The efficiency meant energy bills in particular were very low, he said.

Mr Morris said the process was very simple, allowing a six-month build time, and having a low impact on surroundings.


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