Story by Trends Publishing
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Sustainable house features features PV solar electric, a hot water heat pump, efficient lighting and electrical design, high floor, wall and ceiling insulation, a power management unit, and a grey water system.
The first ten out of ten Homestar-rated house in Christchurch, in the South Island, in fact in the whole country – this ground-breaking claim to fame goes to the contemporary two-storey house by Bob Burnett Architecture featured here.
Every factor was addressed to take the house over the history-making, ten-star line. These included energy use, waste disposal, ventilation, health and occupant comfort.
Naturally, with any home design, the right glazing has a huge effect on warmth, comfort and overall energy efficiency. However, when the home in question is this spectacularly rated, the glazing and related elements have to be at the ‘next level', says Mike Stanford, for Metro Performance Glass, the company that supplied the glazing solution for the greener-than-green residence.
"Double glazing has far greater insulating benefits when combined with Argon gas, Low E glass and thermal spacing. We offer all these together with our Low E Xcel unit – and that was the ideal solution here," says Stanford.
Argon is a naturally occurring inert gas. By trapping a measured amount of Argon between the panes of glass and sealing it in, the insulating performance of double glazing soars. Because the gas is denser than air, it acts as a much more effective barrier to heat loss and absorption in the home. In fact, argon increases a home's thermal performance by up to 15%.
For its part, Low E glass reflects long wave radiation – keeping the heat inside during cold winter days while ensuring the interiors are cool in summer. Thermal breaks add to this, avoiding heat transfer through the build envelope.
"By using our Low E Xcel unit, Bob Burnett was able to achieve the highest possible insulation performance for the double glazing."
NK Windows supplied the exterior uPVC window and door joinery to frame the glazing, says director of NK Windows Martin Ball.
"Our brief from the architect was to provide a high performance thermally efficient window and door solution, that would accommodate the high spec glass. We had to take particular care with the low-threshold sills on the main doors."
The low-threshold door sills were needed to help gain safe-living Lifemark status, and NK Windows worked closely with the builder and architect to achieve this. The other challenge was the architect's request to have the windows positioned in the centre of the framing in order to achieve better thermal performance.
"This required us developing a customised flashing solution for the residence," says Ball.
NK Windows used its 5-chamber EuroFutur profile from the Profine Group in Germany for the sustainable house project.
"In addition, the quest for thermal efficiency meant the windows are all inwards-opening and tilt-and-turn," says Ball. "This product offers superior security, with multiple locking points on the sashes, and also allows for a secure ventilation option, vital to the design."
Longevity, durability and sheer good looks are all part of the Homestar-rated home's appeal.
The contemporary two-tone house is clad in black aluminium – which acts as a solar collector by warm air being drawn from the cladding cavity – and in contrasting pale larch wood.
The natural tones and grain of the wood are enhanced by the architect's choice of Dryden WoodMaster Wood stain in Dune, a pale blond colour, says Jon Pearson, director of Dryden Distribution, the New Zealand company that developed the advanced, environment-friendly finish.
"This product extends the service life of the timber and enhances its finish," says Pearson.
"The Dryden WoodMaster Wood coating penetrates, protects, and enhances the wood cladding naturally. As well as extending the life of this home's exterior, it allows it to weather naturally, while the colour tint optimises the alluring warm, blond tone of the larch wood."
Advantages of the penetrative WoodMaster Wood coating include a uniform, high quality, flat finish, depth and clarity of tone. It also offers rapid drying – saving both time and labour costs – another plus for the energy-friendly residence.
As well as meeting all the requirements for the high Homestar rating, the house also boasts upmarket detailing. This includes the wardrobe solutions and the first floor balustrading.
HomePlus Canterbury was responsible for both of these elements, says company director Murray Hartley.
"The client initially approached HomePlus for the supply and installation of a frameless glass balustrade on the home's first-level deck – the new Infinity balustrade was chosen for its clean, modern looks.
"When visiting our showroom to consult on the installation for this, the client saw the broad range of HomePlus products on offer and realised they could source their wardrobe doors, and wardrobe organisers through us, too."
As HomePlus custom-make its products to a customer's specification they were able to design a high-end product that combined convenience with a real wow factor.
"The wardrobe doors look stunning with slim frames and tracks powdercoated in a colour to match the infill," says Hartley. "Solid Melamine ClosetPro wardrobe organisers were also custom designed and fitted in the wardrobes."
First published date: 17 September 2015