Wonthaggi, Victoria home designer Beaumont Concepts has developed a new sustainable home design that can be built from 6-10 star NatHERS.

A prototype of the CORE home, which has scored a 9.1 star rating, was this month completed at The Cape at Cape Paterson on Victoria’s Bass Coast. The eco-development, which has received backing from Small Giants, demands a minimum housing standard of 7.5 star NatHERS, at least 2.5 kilowatts of solar PV and energy-efficient fitout and appliances.

The CORE prototype has been built in with a 6-kilowatt solar system and 4.8kW of battery storage and, according to Beaumont Concepts marketing director Esme Beaumont, is expected to generate more energy than the home uses and deliver its residents an income stream.

One of the driving principles behind the CORE home is to be carbon positive, through passive solar design, energy efficiency and renewables, as well as a drive to lower embodied carbon with locally sourced and low-carbon materials.

CORE itself is an acronym representing carbon positive, 0 waste, recyclability and economics.

Ms Beaumont told The Fifth Estate getting to zero waste was among the toughest of challenges. She said it was currently “almost impossible” due to most materials being delivered to site in non-recyclable plastic packaging.

“It’s one of the big hurdles we face. We’re working with suppliers to minimise packaging but you can’t, for example, say to a cladding supplier delivering by truck, ‘Don’t secure your load.’”

The homes are also designed to minimise waste from things like offcuts.

“We’re designing to reduce that, working with building materials in normal increments to minimise offcuts. And we’re making sure off-cuts can be reused or recycled to reduce what’s going into landfill.”

Beaumont Homes director Ashley Beaumont said in designing the house the company had come across what he terms “a formula for sustainable design” related to the ratios of width to length, width to height, and external cladding to floor area.

There’s a “perfect spot” you can hit in order to gain a high NatHERS rating, which was something he said was still in development, but which he hoped to share with the broader industry to progress high-performance homes.

Standard construction practices have been used to create an affordable price point, but have been adapted to increase performance.

“For example, the use of the inverted roof truss allows more light into the building but doesn’t require any specialist construction methods or additional costs.”

The CORE home has involved three years of research and development, involving input from designer Dave Leggett, energy assessor Sharyn Blakemore and builder TS Construction.

Other sustainability features include:

  • Reverse brick veneer with 100 per cent recycled brick
  • Burnished concrete floor with 10 per cent fly-ash and slag content
  • Energy monitoring
  • LED lighting
  • Electric vehicle charge point
  • 4 Star WELS rated plumbing fittings
  • 10,000 litre rainwater tank
  • Water-saving native garden
  • Thermally broken double-glazed windows
  • Green tag certified Weathertex cladding
  • FSC certified timber frames and trusses
  • Low-VOC paint, stains and carpets

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