A high-performance, low maintenance design brief meant this Toowoomba Project was able to exceed 8 NatHERS Stars without compromise.
The single storey, two-bedroom, inner-city laneway home had a simple goal: little to no external maintenance, high thermal performance and energy efficiency whilst still meeting council heritage requirements for their 281m² block.
This was achieved as the all-electric building used a solar panel filled 22-degree pitch roof; heat pump hot water system; A high-performance window and door system as well as superior insulation materials.
The Project achieved a stunning 8.3 NatHERS star rating as well as an air permeability rating of 3.9 with a blower test. This was substantially better than the average home of around 15.
Whilst ACH@50 pascals is the normal test under Passivhaus conditions for building air-tightness, an Air permeability test uses the surface area to provide a much more accurate indication as to how airtight the building envelope is.
A comfortable home is not only measured by temperature consistency, but these superior insulation materials, airtight building principles and high performing windows and doors also have substantial impacts upon acoustic performance from nearby city noise.
As the design progressed, research by the owner whittled down all the elements required to deliver the initial demands in the architects brief.
Double glazed windows in Queensland are a rarity with many local builders favouring LowE glass in non thermally broken aluminium frames, or full timber. Neither choice suited the high expectations for this home. Basic aluminium frames offered a bad thermal bridge in summer and winter, while timber windows and doors bring the prospect of years of sanding and painting.
As a result, Miglas Aliclad windows featured high on the list of preferred finishes, offering the maintenance-free external benefits of the powder-coated aluminium with the beauty of the timber internals. The window and door suite in monument satin blended seamlessly into the architectural cladding of the build, whilst also aiding in securing a high energy efficiency through the use of Solos OptEma Plus Low-E glazing.
The multipoint lock system on the front door was demonstrated by the builders to all who came to the site and the adjustable hinges, complete with magnetic plates to hide the fitting screws, saw the door voted ‘best ever’ by the individuals with ample experience in the trade.