Building for the future
HIGHLY effi cient building materials and techniques, which are starting to be adopted here from northern European countries, will become standard practice in the hopefully not- too- distant future, says one pioneering Tasmania- based architect.
Core Collective architect and technical director of building company Clinka, Ryan Strating, is currently building a 10- star energy rated home in Woodbridge, which he hopes will become a prototype for future houses in the state.
Importing building products from Denmark, the clinka material is a type of expanded clay used for insulation, which can also be bonded with cement and sand to create masonry bricks known as isoBloks.
By pouring concrete piers into the ground and sitting footing blocks on top, the home will be insulated from the ground up.
“As an architect, I’d say the housing stock in Tasmania is very poor, even by normal Australian standards,” Ryan said.
“When you compare Australia to other countries of a similar economic level, our housing quality is quite poor.
“We want these materials and techniques to become mainstream because it works really well, it’s easy to use and is no more expensive than standard masonry construction but performs much better.”
The two to three- bedroom house offers open- plan living, with a modern kitchen, a lounge featuring a woodfire and a covered terrace adjoining the home.
Effi cient but durable timber aluminium composite windows, a large triple- glazed wall on the north side of the house, water tanks and a state- of- the- art waste treatment system are some of the other elements which come together to contribute to the property’s anticipated 10- star rating.
“Ten stars is based on energy consumption, so it means the building doesn’t need any heating or cooling, it will stay at a comfortable temperature range naturally,” Ryan said.
“The glass is normally the weak point in a building. The glass on this building would probably be twice as insulating as any of the premium glazing products you can get at the moment in Tasmania.”
The speculative house, which is due to be completed early next year, is currently up for sale and is already gaining quite a bit of attention.
“As soon as it went up on realestate. com. au, we got a call from a couple in Sydney who have a property in Woodbridge, so we’re working with them on a design that is basically a revised version of this,” Ryan said.
“So they won’t have to pay huge architectural fees for a designed house and we know pretty close what the cost is going to be.”
Given enough interest and investment, Ryan, who is also the architect responsible for the redesign of the former Mercury building, is passionate about getting more of the industry on board.
“We’re hoping we get enough of a turnover on this material to be able to manufacture all the products here soon,” he said.
“We don’t really want to be importing this for very long. We’re only importing it to try and build a market that can support a local industry.
“I’d love to do it here in Tassie. We’ve even got investors interested in a Tasmanian development because there are people who want to see new technologies trialled down here.”