Showcasing the smart way to build

Showcasing the smart way to build
This building is starting to set the parameters of what people may have to do in the future in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency.

A new three-bedroom home built by YBL Building in Slope Hill near Queenstown is setting new benchmarks in energy efficiency, sustainability and building for a healthy lifestyle.
The client wanted a clean, elegant building representing the aesthetics of the Wakatipu Basin, and approached Stephen Fitzgerald Architecture to detail concept plans using energy efficient principles.
Designed for a young family, the home comprises three bedrooms, separate office, double living space, and a large games room above the garage.
The use of glazing and large sliding doors created transparent living spaces exploiting views to the south, east and west of the four hectare rural setting, whilst retaining connections to the sunny north-facing courtyard, says Stephen.
It is finished in vertical and horizontal cedar and Heritage Tray cladding. Stephen says the client had invested in innovative and higher quality build materials and systems that would pay back in energy savings.
Critical to the design was the focus on the juxtaposition of elegant materials, design, composition and forms along with focus on energy efficiency.
“This building is starting to set the parameters of what people are going to have to do in the future in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability,” he says. Principles of the new “Super Home Movement” were included in the planning, design and detailing of the building, he says.
“Building regulations are becoming increasingly quantifiable in terms of energy ratings, carbon footprint and sustainability. Investment now in working towards future energy efficient codes of practice, whilst creating better and healthier living environments, will future-proof and add resale value to a property.”
The concept of polished concrete floors acting as a heat sink has been around for a long time, but this new home takes it a step further with the fully insulated MAXRaft® concrete slab system – where insulated pods isolate the perimeters of the slab so it doesn’t cool down so quickly – increasing the performance of the home from the foundation up. These floors are hydronically (water) heated.
“The building features 150mm timber framing construction with bracing ply, 50mm structural cavity battens on the outside, and Proclima insulation wraps with a 50mm service cavity framing on the inside. This reduces thermal bridging by the deletion of dwangs, and allows for a very high value of insulation,” says Stephen.
Showcasing the smart way to build
Added to this is the Knauf Earthwool® glasswool insulation, made using up to 80% recycled glass providing wall and ceiling insulation, with every internal wall insulated for heat and noise retention. Double-glazed thermally broken aluminium windows were recessed to reduce condensation.
A Lossnay fresh air energy recovery system provides air conditioning, and the home is heated is through a ducted heat pump system, supplemented by a Stovax Studio No. 2 wood fire which frames the end of the living space.
The building had received a high score using the Blower Door Test for air tightness. Local Queenstown company YBL Building was contracted to manage the build process.
Managing director Scott Yardley says YBL’s extended network of local professionals and tradespeople were experienced with energy efficient build practices, and installing sustainable and innovative build materials to a high quality.
“We believe in precise workmanship along with professional management aiming to always exceed our client’s expectation,” he says. Scott has over 10 years’ building and project management experience in the Southern Lakes district.
YBL Building’s philosophy is to provide a superior building experience for its clients, offering a complete construction service from consent to completion, project managing the build in its entirety or working with the client each step of the way.”
In this case YBL Building had worked closely with the client who was heavily involved in all aspects of the decision-making and build process and was regularly on-site.
Scott says clients building both large and smaller-scale homes were increasingly seeing the long-term benefits of investing for energy efficiencies and healthy air, and his company had developed a wide range of knowledge and experience of the new practices. “We believe this is a smart way to build and is the way of the future.”
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