Australian House & Garden - - My Ideal House -

When it’s com­plete, My Ideal House will stand proudly on Meale Av­enue in Syd­ney’s Gledswood Hills, pre­sent­ing a fresh and friendly face to the world. Built into its crisp white facade will be two strik­ing win­dow­boxes filled with fo­liage and flow­ers. And the ma­te­rial that makes such a de­sign fea­ture pos­si­ble is Hebel, a build­ing prod­uct com­posed of au­to­claved aer­ated con­crete. But where tra­di­tional con­crete is a weighty ma­te­rial, Hebel pan­els are com­par­a­tively light and strong, due to the aer­a­tion process and their steel re­in­force­ment.

One of Hebel’s most ap­peal­ing at­tributes is the flex­i­bil­ity it af­fords de­sign­ers. This is some­thing Madeleine Blanch­field, Syd­ney ar­chi­tect and win­ner of the My Ideal House de­sign com­pe­ti­tion run by H&G and Mir­vac, has em­braced with her in­clu­sion of the win­dow­boxes. Madeleine has also seized the op­por­tu­nity to in­clude a rout­ing de­tail on the Hebel pan­els, bring­ing def­i­ni­tion to the ex­te­rior of My Ideal House.

“With Hebel, it’s sim­ple to add this kind of tex­tu­ral de­tail and to cre­ate sight­lines and points of in­ter­est in the ex­te­rior, which are an im­por­tant as­pect of Madeleine’s de­sign,” says Rod­er­ick Pe­tre, NSW op­er­a­tions man­ager for Mir­vac. “There’s also some­thing about Hebel that of­fers a nod to the Mod­ernist homes that have, in part, in­spired Madeleine’s de­sign.”

In ad­di­tion to look­ing good, Hebel of­fers some great en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits (a key el­e­ment the judges were look­ing for as they as­sessed the My Ideal House de­sign com­pe­ti­tion en­tries).

“Build­ing any new home will have some en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, but Hebel treads fairly lightly on the planet,” says Melissa Nguyen, mar­ket­ing and brand man­ager for CSR Hebel. “In­de­pen­dent test­ing shows that Hebel Pow­erPanels use 60 per cent less em­bod­ied en­ergy and pro­duce 55 per cent less green­house emis­sions than con­crete or brick ve­neer.”

Nguyen says thanks to its in­her­ent ther­mal mass, a house built with Hebel will also per­form bet­ter than brick ve­neer in terms of both heat­ing and cool­ing. This can po­ten­tially save the home­own­ers about $400 a year in heat­ing and cool­ing en­ergy costs, and earn the home half a star more in the Na­tion­wide House En­ergy Rat­ing Scheme (NatHERS), adds Nguyen.

Its mass acts as a buf­fer, too, block­ing ex­ter­nal noise. “A wall sys­tem can go a long way to cre­at­ing a sense of peace and quiet,” she says. “Com­pared to fi­bre ce­ment and other sub­strates, the use of Hebel for ex­te­rior walls can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce noise from ex­ter­nal sources such as traf­fic. When it’s used for up­per floors, it can re­duce sound trans­fer be­tween lev­els as well.”



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