Construction has started on suburban Darwin’s first off-the-grid house, which may be the first in the Northern Territory to receive an 8.5 star NatHERS rating for energy efficiency.
The house is under construction at Breezes Muirhead, an award-winning, sustainable residential community being delivered by Defence Housing Australia (DHA) and Investa Land. The 8.5 star home will be part of the new display village set to open in late 2016.
Local builder, Skandy’s Group has designed, and will construct, the five bedroom home in accordance with Breezes Muirhead’s design guidelines, which will set a new standard for contemporary, sustainable housing in the Top End.
‘Breezes Muirhead has raised the bar for climatically responsive, residential development in the Top End since the incorporation of breezeways in its initial masterplan. As we commence construction of the final stage of this community, it’s rewarding to deliver what we believe to be the most energy efficient house in Darwin,’ said Mr Paul Perkovic, Project Director NT, Investa Land.
The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) is a federal government initiative that provides homes with a star rating out of ten, based on an estimate of a home’s energy use. Current regulations only require new homes in the Northern Territory to be built to a 5 star NatHERS rating.
‘This 8.5 star home will demonstrate how innovative design and construction can deliver a comfortable tropical home with reduced dependency on air conditioning,’ said Jan Mason, DHA Acting Managing Director.
‘It will showcase sustainable design features that will help residents to reduce their energy usage and deliver cost savings, with minimal additional construction costs,’ she said.
A key element of the home’s high energy efficiency rating is its off-the-grid status. A stand-alone solar power system will reliably provide an average of 24.6kWh to the home every day of the year, sufficient to meet the power needs of the occupants.
The home incorporates design techniques and materials that supplement the energy efficiency provided by its solar powered system. Passive design principles including the orientation of the house, parallel placement of windows and the positioning of internal walls encourage cross ventilation and deliver a more comfortable home with minimal environmental impact.
Light coloured building materials with a low thermal mass will be incorporated in the construction of the house, reducing the internal temperature of the home.
Visitors to Breezes Muirhead will be encouraged to visit the 8.5 star home and garner tips and inspiration for improving the energy efficiency of their own new home. Seven new display homes will be open for inspection at the new Builder Display Village, expected to open later in 2016.
For more information about Breezes Muirhead visit breezesmuirhead.com.au or the Breezes Muirhead Land Sales Centre and Builder Display Village located at 22 Coleman Street (off Lee Point Road) Muirhead, open daily from 10am to 5pm.