COMFORT COMES NATURALLY
For builders of one style of new home in Sydney, sustainable design comes naturally. A division of Japanese company Sekisui House, Shawood homes are being built at The Hermitage in Sydney’s southwest and they are constructed to be comfortable to live in and to last a lifetime.
Shawood product development and manufacturing manager Makoto Ochiai says Shawood homes have several identifiable sustainable features, from the materials sourced to the way the homeowners enjoy living in the house.
“Multiple waterproofing layers allow the home to breathe,” he says. “A unique ventilation system at the top and bottom of the home allows condensation to escape naturally.
“All structural timber is eco-certified and is sourced from sustainably managed forests in northern Europe.”
The homes are designed to have an airy, open interior thanks to elevated ceiling heights and performance glazing, and natural light is allowed to penetrate deep into the heart of the home, reducing the dependence on artificial sources.
To date, 46 Shawood homes have been completed at The Hermitage at Gledswood Hills and there are currently 44 under construction, while worldwide, more than 50,000 homes have been built since 1995.
While the homes are designed to reduce energy consumption, Makoto says they a pleasure to live in.
“Natural materials are used and the layouts take into consideration solar orientation,” he says. “Hi-tech components have been used to reduce power bills including double glazing, solar panels and geothermal technology for airconditioning.”
“Cross ventilation, where windows are placed to naturally draw the air through, is incorporated to improve air quality and comfort in the home.”
He says elements such as insulated windows and photovoltaic roof tiles — rather than panels — will drive down power bills, but it’s how the whole house performs for those who live there that really counts.
“It is important to build a new home with a holistic view in mind which looks at solar orientation, and the use of several components in the home,” Makoto says.
The Shawood timber beam and post system allows for large uninterrupted spans that can create double height voids to optimise views and light.