Power to the people

May 11th, 2018 / / categories: 江苏夜网 /

Ichijo Technological Homes specialises in energy-efficient dwellings.With electricity costs rising sharply, energy efficiency in new developments has never been more in demand.
Nanjing Night Net

First-home buyers, families and empty-nesters are all focusing on running costs of homes, as well as on the purchase price, and are putting building materials, ventilation systems and cost-saving features in both houses and apartments alike under scrutiny.

Builder Ichijo Technological Homes specialises in creating modular, energy-efficient dwellings that it says can save at least 38 per cent on energy bills.

”Our designs integrate solar, water, insulation and air-quality systems,” says the general manager of Ichijo (NSW), Phil Stewart. ”Our system is new to Australia, but is a big thing in Japan, North America and Europe.”

The Japan-based Ichijo prefabricates homes overseas but assembles them on timber frames locally, with high levels of insulation and self-cleaning external ceramic wall tiles that the company says can lead to a 60 per cent reduction of heating and cooling loads.

Ichijo has several different ”smart home” styles on display at the HomeWorlds in Kellyville and Gledswood Hills.

”They’re very sustainable homes, but they also offer a high level of liveability,” Stewart says.

Apartment developers are also putting fresh emphasis on sustainability features. At the 18-apartment Setai at Narrabeen on the northern beaches, for instance, the complex has an average energy-efficient rating of 7½ stars – exceptionally high for apartments.

The large two- and three-bedroom apartments have been designed by architectural firm Gartner Trovato to face east-west with wide frontages to ensure plenty of natural light and cross-flow ventilation. Set in lush green gardens landscaped by Jamie Durie, they have stormwater holding tanks for irrigation uses.

”Energy efficiency is a real priority for us,” says the managing director of developer Oakstand Property Group, Daniel Cullen. ”It’s a very important part of the design and we’ve found that the downsizing market is very aware of strata levies and costs so, by making use of good sea breezes, we know they won’t need to use airconditioning much at all.”

Even in smaller projects, there’s an increased emphasis on making sure running costs are as low as possible.

A good example is at Cremorne, where two three-bedroom, three-storey duplexes each have an extra sitting room that could be used as a fourth bedroom. The building was designed to ensure the living rooms face north so they receive as much sunlight in the winter as possible, while the wide eaves shelter the rooms from too much summer midday sun.

”A dense screen of trees laid out in the adjacent park also screen the bedrooms from the late-afternoon sun, while the orientation allows north-east breezes into the living and dining area for natural ventilation, so the single-phase airconditioning won’t be needed much,” says the developer, Nick Rickard from the Moore Development Group.

Ichijo homes come in nine different designs and all feature double-glazed windows, 24/7 heat-recovery ventilation systems, roof ventilation and self-cleaning external ceramic wall tiles. Prices start from $208,000. See ichijo南京夜网.au, phone 1300 424 456.Residents green revolution

When Elizabeth Elenius first saw the plans for the last apartment building to be built at Jacksons Landing in Pyrmont, she didn’t like it.

She was concerned it would mean the loss of urban bushland and felt the design wasn’t environmentally sound. So she, together with a group of other residents at the master-planned community, had a meeting with developer Lend Lease for the plans to be redrawn.

”And it was very successful,” she says. ”They listened to us and together we went through everything, making drawings on butcher paper.”

Now the 43-apartment low-rise Antias is one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly in Sydney, with cross-ventilation, rainwater and grey-water recycling systems, solar-powered common-area electricity and smart meters for all apartments to track their energy use. It’s green-star rated by the Green Building Council of Australia and is set in preserved urban bushland.

”They did a tremendous job,” says Elenius, a retired communications manager, who ended up, with partner Dr Mark Sceats, buying a $980,000 two-bedroom investment apartment in the Tonkin Zulaikha Greer-designed building.

”There are so many good energy savings there, and they’ve even put the staircase in front of the lift, so you’re encouraged to walk up.

”So as well as helping save the planet, you’re also getting fitter and saving money on energy bills at the same time.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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