Sustainable Perfection 2020

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White Gum Valley WA 6162
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Open with support of
    • Renew Perth Branch
    • Builder
    • I-Smart Building Group
    • Designer
    • Essenziale

About Sustainable Perfection

Both my partner, Wendy, and I are from Germany and arrived in Australia over 10 years ago. We fell in love with Perth quite quickly with its beautiful weather and amazing white sandy beaches. After several years of renting we decided to build our own home and we were extremely lucky to happen upon an unassuming block in the new Sustainable Development in White Gum Valley. Once we secured the block we already knew the type of home we needed. Complimenting the already groundbreaking development requirements of the precinct we knew it had to be a Passive Haus.

After a short design period with Essenziale and the team at I-SMART Building Group we were on site and building. 6 Months later we had our completed beautiful home. The design which is largely focused on Passive house principles also considers and captures North and Western aspects very well. A beautiful courtyard placed central to the block on the northern elevation provides a magnificent but private extension to the open plan central living area of our home. We spent quite a bit of time on the placement, size and orientation of our windows which has resulted in fantastic cross flow ventilation and very controlled solar heat gain. We also designed the front (East) of the home to specifically be interchangeable which works incredibly well. This can be either a two bedroom two bathroom living area or by locking just one door two individual one bedroom apartments which accommodates intergenerational living when our relatives visit from Germany for extended periods.

Our home is extremely thermally efficient being a passive house and this is achieved by the use of light weight timber framed construction, high performance UPVC windows with Low-e, argon filled double glazed units, high performance (100% recyclable) insulation throughout the internal and external walls, Thermal bridge free design, Airtightness membranes throughout the construction of the home verified with air tightness testing (blower door testing) and the inclusion of a Heat Recovery Ventilation system. All of these simple but effective measures coupled with a 6kW PV system on the strategically designed North facing roof have resulted in a net positive energy use of over 45%. The home only has two 1.5kW split AC systems for the entire home which we have only ever used in Summer for assisted cooling. I have been monitoring my energy use but more importantly my air quality over the past year and it is absolutely amazing the difference a healthy home can make. Living in a passive home now for over a year I can testify to being less tired, more attentive and most importantly not sick. Its an amazing feeling and you can only appreciate it by living in a passive home.

We have also included a solar ready Hot water Heat pump from Stiebel Eltron for our hot water supply. This is further complimented 6 star Wells rated fixtures throughout the home. We are very fortunate to have access to a community Bore on our block so we decided to utilize our 3000L rain water harvesting tank linked directly to the Hot water heater which in my opinion is one of the most effective uses for rain water harvesting. The laundry and toilets also have dual pluming provision for the future should we decide to do so with the laundry also having provision for grey water recycling.
We were quite intrigued when choosing the external claddings for our home and settled on predominantly colorbond for its recyclability and also Permacomposite which is an 80% recycled wood product and looks amazing when installed. Almost like a timber feature cladding.

We upgraded the Northern elevation with an external acrylic rendered system to increase the insulation values and this has worked extremely well. We have since completed all our external gardens with native plants, suculants and trees all complimented by drip irrigation fed from the community bore. Its a satisfying feeling to sit in the courtyard and look at all the natural beauty on this block.

We are both in a very happy place now and living in an affordable, sustainable and most importantly healthy home which we feel lucky to have.

This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 8.1 stars using NatHERS accredited software.

Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.

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Years Open
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Heat recovery ventilation system
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Heat exchange ventilation system
      Split system airconditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 154L
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • PVC Tank
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 3,000L
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Blinds
      Shade Sails
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Cladding
    • Insulation Type:
    • Ceiling
      Internal walls
      External walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R6.0
    • Floor Type:
    • Bulk - glass wool
    • Floor Rating:
    • R4.1
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R2.5 High performance acoustic batts
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R4.0
    • External Walls Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Energy star rating:
    • 8.1
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 6kW
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 2.8(kWh) per person per day
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $450,000
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • $22,000
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $2,500
    • House Size
    • 265
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Insulated panels or blocks
      Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Metal (Colorbond)

    • Wall Materials
    • 80% Recycled timber cladding. PermaComposite
    • Window and Door Types
    • Double glazing
      Low-e, films
      Sliding windows/doors
      Tilt and turn
    • Universal design accessability
    • Multi-generational
    • Universal Design Features
    • Flush thresholds (no lip) to all external doors
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 3
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Local indigenous plants
      Native plants
      Water wise plants
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Cabinet design to minimise dust collection
      Carpet free - tiles/concrete/timber flooring throughout
      Cross flow ventilation
      Heat recovery ventilation (HRV)
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
      VOC free paints/sealer/varnish

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