12 July 2012 – Sekisui House, Japan’s largest home builder, claims its new  Shawood Collection display homes at The Coolum Residences on the Sunshine Coast contain “some of the most advanced eco-friendly design elements ever built in Australia”.

The three display homes have been developed in collaboration with Queensland’s PUSH Architecture to suit the location using a combination of imported technology and local materials.

Sekisui House Australia president and managing director Toru Abe said the homes represented significant investment in design and technology.

“These unique homes clearly show what can be achieved when there is a real commitment to living in harmony with our surroundings,” he said.

Sustainability features include construction material being per-engineered off-site, including the timber frames and metal joints, to ensure precision and minimise on-site waste. Timber is sourced from certified sustainable forests.

Each home uses photovoltaic roof tiles, highly insulated windows, wall ventilation and energy monitoring systems. Low maintenance materials are used including the external cladding which is self-cleaning, further cutting costs.

The homes also maximise orientation and cross ventilation to provide natural lighting and breezes.

Lend Lease is the development manager for The Coolum Residences, which are owned by Sekisui House.

A Sekisui House spokesperson said Australian operations of the company were still largely in their “early research and education stage”.

“One of the key challenges has been to communicate and develop an understanding of the value of the homes and communities by demonstrating the unique design approaches and attention to detail,” the spokesperson said.

“In Australia by focusing on and understanding the many and varied needs of our customers, our homes can reflect our in-depth understanding of these desires as well as our commitment to satisfying them in every way.

“This understanding has come through partnerships and detailed research into the market to adapt our offerings to suit the needs and wants of Australians.

“Sekisui House has deliberately taken a conservative and calculated approach with two divisions currently set up to collect this level of intelligence without compromising the quality of the homes it aims to construct and provide in the long run.

“Our product currently available on the market does not reflect a strong order of homes as yet.”

Future goals included: to achieve zero waste and CO2 offsetting across all processes of the home building practice from construction right through to demolition and; the planting of one million new trees each year through projects globally.

“We have currently achieved 700,000-800,000 trees a year and aspire to reach the outcome on an annual basis,” the spokesperson said.

Sekisui House was founded in Japan in 1960 introduced the Zero Emission House at the G8 summit.  It launched its 2nd Generation Green First homes directly after the Japan earthquake disaster – addressing the need for homes to not only save power, but to create power and be self-sufficient in times of emergency. The company claims the homes are 100 per cent carbon neutral and can also generate power for the local area where power is otherwise unavailable.