Landcom’s Greencycle Eco-Living home

10 November 2011 – Landcom has opened its second Eco-Living Display Home, Greencycle, one of three homes it is developing to promote sustainable building products and construction methods (see our earlier story on this)

Located at The Ponds in Sydney’s north-west, The Greencycle home has a seven star rating and features building materials and products that are environmentally friendly, have low embodied energy, a high recycled content and are capable of being recycled.

Steve Driscoll, Director, Sustainability and Policy at Landcom said the Greencycle home highlights how environmentally conscious people can use recycled products in their home to lower their carbon output at an affordable price.

“Each year the building industry contributes significant tonnes to landfill across Australia. The Greencycle home showcases the benefits associated with various recycled products, thereby educating consumers, as well as the project home building industry, how everyone can contribute to reducing excessive landfill waste.”

“The home uses clever materials that produce much less carbon when compared to traditional building materials,” Mr Driscoll said.

The house also incorporates universal housing principles into the design, enabling people to potentially live in their home over their lifetime without the need for major adaptation or specialised design.

Shaila Divakarla, Design Sustainability Specialist from Clarendon Homes, the company chosen to build the Eco-Living houses, believes the recycled products market is growing as people become more environmentally conscious.

“They are also becoming cheaper as demand continues to grow,” said Ms Divakarla. “Builders and consumers need to seek ways to put back into the environment rather than keep taking from it.

“Concrete is the most dominant CO2 contributor when building a home, contributing between three to five per cent of greenhouse gas emissions globally. The materials used in the Greencycle home are clever and showcase some of the best recycled products available on the market.”

Compared to the standard home, occupants of the Greenhouse will see reductions of 41 per cent on heating and cooling loads through the ability to section off rooms for heating and cooling purposes, orientation towards the sun and thermal materials used.

Overall the Greencycle home has a 74 per cent BASIX rating, which is nearly double the mandated compliance target.

“By replacing standard Clarendon materials in the major building elements with the sustainable materials used in the Greencycle home, a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions is achieved. This figure will be higher when the carbon sequestration value of the predominantly timber based materials are taken into account,” Ms Divakarla said.

Consultants including global company Ecospecifier were appointed to assess different materials and products to determine which were most suitable to showcase in the Greencycle home. The process included reviewing which building materials were carbon heavy such as walls, floors and roofs using Landcom’s PRECINX tool.

PRECINX was then used to determine where CO2 reductions could be made with various materials during the building cycle; reviewing which products that had a high recycled content were capable of being recycled at the end of their lifecycle; material cost and supply availability of various products.

Recycled materials featured in the home include:

  • green concrete :ecomax 1’ – this contains a 20 per cent replacement of cement with fly ash and slag from power station waste which also improves the strength of the product.
  • eco-top’ benchtops in the kitchens and bathrooms that look like stone and comprise 50 per cent bamboo and 50 per cent recycled paper and cardboard.
  • bamboo floorboards – a renewable building material that is also easy to clean and does not harbor dust, making it a great product for asthma sensitive consumers.
  • weathertex weatherboard, which uses timber fibres from certified sustainable forests and natural wax

The Greencycle home’s garden uses captured water, held on site via a series of water features acting as reservoirs. These help sustain a frog and fish friendly environment.

The first home in the Eco Living project, The Benchmark, opened in June this year and showcases practical sustainability products and features,. According to Landcom and Clarendon the home has received a very positive response from potential house purchasers.

Later this year the third home, the Net-Zero emissions home, will open.  It will challenge the building industry and consumer thinking on sustainability. It will be a smaller and smarter home which showcases leading-edge design and technologies that have been blended to create a home with virtually no bills.

The Eco-Living Display Village Homes are located at Pebble Crescent, The Ponds.

Details www.ecolivingdisplayhomes.com.au