by Laila Ansari
by Laila Ansari
MK Building Solutions prides itself on being a leader in the Perth home building market for building sustainable and energy efficient homes.
Achieving this very high energy rating is rewarding and demonstrates our strategy and commitment to lead Western Australia in the design and construction of energy efficient homes.
We understand that more and more people want a home that is sustainable, efficient and comfortable to live in and would like to save on energy running costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Our new house in Hazelmere achieves that with excellent design, great zoning and comfortable living spaces. We have worked with the environment to create a home that will be naturally warm in winter, cool in summer and energy efficient to minimise household utility bills.
Understanding the stars
According to the NatHERS scale – the federal government-administrated Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme that was introduced to assess the potential thermal comfort of Australian homes on a scale of zero to 10 stars.
The more energy efficient a house is the higher the rating.
Occupants of houses rated at or around the 10 Star mark are unlikely to need much, if any artificial cooling or heating. At the other end of the scale, a zero-rated house means the building shell does practically nothing to reduce the discomfort of hot or cold weather.
“The more energy stars your home has, the more comfortable it is, with less need for heating or cooling. Our 8.8 Star home in Hazelmere should need very little heating or cooling throughout the seasons. This design combats the rising cost of electricity and the discomfort of dry air-conditioned rooms” – Marco Klous, MD of MK Building Solutions.
As the NatHERS website describes, houses built in 1990 averaged about 1 star on the scale. Before the introduction of national energy efficiency regulations for houses in 2003, less than one per cent of Australian houses achieved six stars. These days, however, many well designed houses are now being built that are rated around seven stars. At 8.8 stars, we are looking at a very energy efficient house.
To help explain, we have broken down the features, design and technology into different categories:
Passive solar design features
Our clients bought their north facing plot of land with the intention to build their home with the main living area positioned as northerly as possible. This was achieved by angling the living area to the north with their passive home designer and to achieve beneficial cross ventilation through the house, a central hallway with openable windows on both ends was created.
As windows play a crucial role in passive design, the choice was made to use thermally broken aluminum windows with double glazing. The north facing windows were chosen with a high solar gain to bring in the winter sun, while the east and west facing windows have a lower solar heat gain to minimize summer morning and afternoon heating. All the glazing is double glazed, with a low-e coating and argon gas inside.
Beneficial shading was achieved by planting a deciduous plum tree on the west elevation which is the natural way to stop afternoon sun when you don’t want it in the summer. As well, they have incorporated a Wisteria growing on trellis located at the eastern elevation of the home. For the north, a 1.8m roof overhang was built to keep the summer sun away from the windows. A removable shade sail has been placed over the “secret garden” which gives the master bedroom winter morning sun, while giving summer mornings shade. The secret garden has tropical plants which also benefit from the summer shading.
In order to achieve a higher R rating for the external walls, the choice was made to use 140mm timber framing with R3 insulation batts to the external walls and intermittent selected internal walls with reverse brick veneer to still utilize as much thermal mass as possible. Also, to increase the thermal mass in the house, all internal walls were constructed from brickwork. Large ceiling fans were placed throughout to circulate air around as much as possible.
Energy Saving Materials & Fittings
The intent was to not use non-renewable energy sources. As such, there is no gas connection and all cooking and water heating is electrical. All lights are energy efficient LED lights. Efficient ceiling fans are used throughout eliminating the need for air-conditioning. For water heating, a heat pump inverter hot water system is used, which is the most efficient way of heating water.
There is a dedicated area on the roof which is reserved for solar panels. There currently are no solar panels installed, but all conduits are in place and ready. There is a store room next to the carport where the conduits terminate and where the inverter is to be installed, as well as a location for future battery back-up. The location for this room was chosen next to the carport for ease of installing any charging equipment for future electric cars.
Light colouring has been used throughout to minimize heat gain in the summer as per the energy consultant’s recommendations. The roof sheets are “surfmist” (white)
The home is ‘extremely comfortable to live in’, as stated by the new owners. There is little to no need for thick jumpers and slippers in the early hours of the morning or into the evening. The large ceiling to floor windows make for feeling open, airy and full of light even on a dark day. The added secret garden in the master ensuite is a unique and welcoming addition to wake up to for the clients.
The other bedrooms in the home have been designed away from the sun so the occupants can stay comfortable well into the late morning if desired. The central kitchen, dining and living area sits next to the large stacker doors and decked patio, making for ease to entertain and transition from one space to the other or keep an eye on little ones playing in the garden. Every element and aspect of the home has been carefully considered to enhance the home owners experience and guarantee they will enjoy their home for many years to come.
As part of the cross ventilation and respecting the Perth “desert like” climate, an automated window system was designed. There are 5 temperature sensors and 1 anemometer (wind speed sensor) installed in the house to keep track of the environmental factors which would influence the ventilation.
The automation system is unique to any home in Perth.
This system allows the windows on the east and west side of the home to open up automatically based on the setting and temperature. On the “summer” setting the windows will open when the average temperature internally is higher than the average temperature externally. In the Perth summer, this usually happens in the early hours of the morning when the occupier is sleeping. On the “winter” setting, the windows will operate the opposite way, ie opening when the temperature inside is lower than the temperature outside. In the Perth winter, this would happen in the early afternoon. The anemometer is used to override the system should it be too windy. This system needed to be designed into the layout of the house, as the windows need to be under cover to ensure during wetter weather, the home does not blood as well as security.
MK Building Solutions renowned Functionality and Livability come as standard
In summary, the inclusions/features in this new energy efficient home are:
- 4 Comfortably Sized Bedrooms
- 2 Bathrooms
- Large Scullery and Laundry
- Open Plan Living / Dining and Kitchen
- Home Theatre/Activity Room
- Double Garage
- Double Glazing throughout
- 2700 High Ceilings with ceiling fans throughout
- Stone Tops to Kitchen and Laundry
- Energy Efficient Induction Cook top in Kitchen
- Latest Heat-Pump energy efficient hot water storage system
- Generous LED Light Package
- Tiling throughout
So if your dream is to own a new home that not only looks stunning, but also excels with a very high 8.8 Star Energy Rating, then get in touch with us.
MK Building Solutions are a leading new home builder in Perth with a focus on building attractive homes that are sustainable, efficient and comfortable to live in; saving you energy running costs and reducing your greenhouse gas emissions.
We can do this for you too!
MK Building Solutions is a new home builder and home renovator in Perth, based out of offices in Balcatta. We are the home of the KlausHaus® - high-quality, custom built homes of incomparable style, comfort, energy-efficiency and value.
From full custom designed homes through to kitchen & bathroom renovations, you can rely on the MK Building Solutions team for transparency, high quality work and your complete satisfaction. We are builders based in Perth and we build new homes and renovate existing homes throughout the Perth metropolitan area.
To arrange a detailed quote or to discuss your building concept, speak to the team from MK Building Solutions today.
Phone 08 6188 5966 or click here to fill in our online form.