Affordable sustainable display
home gets the green light
Over two years of dedicated
perseverance has finally paid off for the Tropical Green Building Network
(TGBN), who presented the plans and project summary for their sustainable display
home in a public forum at the Cairns City library.
Never before have so many energy
efficient features been demonstrated in an affordable ‘project market’ display
home which will be open next year to coincide with sustainable house day. With a cost of under $250,000 to replicate, the
9 – 9.5 star energy rated home will also demonstrate ‘lifetime homes’ principles
(homes that are fully accessible and can be adapted easily to meet the changing
needs of occupants) as well as covering safe design, waste and water management
and sustainable tropical gardening solutions too.
Designer of the home, Sophie
Barrett from Green at Heart believes that North Queenslanders should have access to designs that suit our unique
tropical climate and consider human comfort. “The TGBN Sustainable display home
proves that sustainable design is available to everyone, even on a budget”,
says Ms Barrett.
Kent Hams, director of Kenick
Constructions who are building the home in Redlynch Valley Estate says “People can no longer ignore rising power
prices. We believe the market is ready for designs which suit our climate, are
cheaper to run and have a higher resale value.
All our designs are built with this in mind, not just the display home,
and we are proud to be part of this exciting project”.
Interest in this sector is
certainly growing, and market leaders like Kenick are being giving full support
by professional bodies such as the Housing Industry Association (HIA). Peter Collins from the HIA says “it is great to
have the opportunity to promote another HIA Greensmart Home in the FNQ market.
HIA Greensmart promotes the uptake of best practice in Environmentally
sustainable house building. A Greensmart home means it has been assessed
against the building and planning features that we know make a difference to
the environmental impact. Consumers can trust that it has been industry
assessed to validate its “green credentials”.
Key areas covered in the design of the home
design (orientation/shading/eaves/cross ventilation/open plan/colour
selection (local suppliers/materials to suit the tropics/avoiding harmful
chemicals/sustainable sources/manufacturer green credentials)
access from the street/no door thresholds/accessible corridor and door widths /socket
and switch heights adjusted/future grab rail provision/pathways do not use
(solar hot water/good insulation/ventilated roof space/tinted windows/850mm
eaves overhangs/fans throughout/inverter air-conditioning/LED lighting)
quality (good cross ventilation/Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) minimised)
water tank, 3 and 4 star rated fittings/re-use of cold water for
showers/integrated wash hand basin and WC/mulch to garden beds/drip irrigation)
management (designed to suit sheet sizes/metal off cuts re-cycled/some re-cycled
components in landscaping/construction waste separated)
design and construction (permanent anchor point/roof pitch/off-site
prefabrication where possible/slip resistance)
plant species/water features designed to discourage pests and encourage
beneficial wildlife/organic vegetable garden/composting/Gro-wall)
There is so much more to this project than meets the eye and a detailed
project summary will be available to those who wish to come along to the open
The TGBN are seeking expressions of interest from suppliers who would
like to be involved in the project. The
interest of suppliers in the building industry so far has been extremely
encouraging and many more are hoped to be tempted to be involved following
The TGBN is hoping that local companies take this opportunity to showcase
their sustainable products to the Cairns community.
Many major industry groups and associations support the project through
the TGBN including Cairns Regional Council, DEEDI, CAFNEC, HIA, JCU, Advance Cairns, Austropex and
A number of suppliers have already pledged to donate services or
products including James Hardie, Bluescope Steel, Breezway Louvres, Greenbuild,
Green at Heart, Safe Design Australia, Smithfield Mitre 10, and EColour paints.
The TGBN First Open
Forum on the Sustainable display home was held on Wednesday 7th
December, 5.30pm, at the Cairns City Library, for more information please contact us.
TGBN SDH FLYER