Self sufficient eco house calls for CSR Cemintel™ BareStone

News /
27 April 2012
Self sufficient eco house calls for CSR Cemintel™ BareStone

CSR Cemintel™’s BareStone pre-finished facade panel and fixing system was selected as the optimal solution for Bernard Hockings’ latest ambitious project, a 100% self sufficient eco house based in Newcastle.

BareStone, part of the CeminSeal family of products, is yet another ground-breaking product that incorporates the CeminSeal waterblocking technology. Bernard says, “I chose BareStone because I believe it’s a great all round solution. It’s a high performance cladding system that looks great, is cost effective, easy to install, and has minimal environmental impact.”

The two storey, three bedroom house includes a composting toilet and greywater treatment system to handle all sewerage on site. A 40,000 litre underground rainwater tank is incorporated in the building foundations and will supply all household water needs. Photovoltaic panels and a 2kW wind turbine will generate approximately 150% of the building’s electricity needs with excess energy fed into the grid. Good passive solar design achieved a 9 star thermal rating so indoor temperatures will only be too hot or cold for a handful of hours each year. When needed, heating can be provided by a solar heated hydronic system, and active cooling will be provided by using the underground water tank as a heat sink.

“I’ve roughly calculated that after 20 years, the building will have generated enough renewable energy to meet the day-to-day operation of the building as well as enough surplus to offset the carbon impact of producing the building’s materials, making it truly carbon neutral,” says Bernard.

Bernard has been a carpenter and builder for 30 years and has undertaken most of the construction of this current project himself, beginning in 2009 and with a completion date later this year.

Bernard has been involved in green building industry since the mid 70s’, and his name is synonymous with sustainability and innovation. His career includes environmental manager for the Master Builders Association, founding president and principal technical consultant for the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors (ABSA), and the founding president for the Australian Fenestration Rating Council (AFRC). He has also conducted hundreds of training seminars for building professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand.

“This current project has provided me with an opportunity to see just how far I can practically go in reducing environmental impact,” comments Bernard.

“With its 9mm compressed fibre cement panels, BareStone provides an extremely weathertight, highly durable, low maintenance cladding system. The top hat sub-frame provides a ventilated cavity which improves thermal performance and keeps condensation away from the timber frame, and the CeminSeal technology gives me confidence that the panels will be stable, watertight and mould free. The fact there is no render, paint or flush jointing allows for faster, cleaner and more economical construction. In addition, at the end of its life, the exposed fittings and express joints mean that the house can be dismantled instead of demolished,” adds Bernard.

Some of the other building materials used include 90% recycled content concrete, VOC free paints made from recycled engine oil, concrete blocks that act as carbon sinks, HDPE plumbing and boron treated hoop pine timber frames.

Bernard comments, “I really wanted to break some stereotypes with this project. I don’t want people to drive past and necessarily say, “Oh look, there’s an eco house”. The house is contemporary in style, built with terracotta tiles on the upper storey walls and oiled external timber. BareStone is the principal cladding, which gives the finished building a raw and earthy look - it’s a natural finish and a sharp, modern trend.

Once finished, Bernard plans to rent the house to people that are interested in experiencing eco friendly living. He says, “I want to demonstrate that living sustainably should mean enjoying greater comfort in a healthier, attractive home that cost less to run.

“People often ask me what I think the next fashion in building style will be, and I have to say that BareStone has to be a likely contender. It ticks a lot of boxes.”

Cemintel’s BareStone has been tested to AS4284 and uses 1.15BMT galvanised top hats and exposed head fasteners S/S or class 3.

Cemintel

Cemintel is an Australian owned company and part of the inconic CSR Building products, supplying cement panels and building systems for external facades, internal linings, ceilings and flooring in commercial and residential applications.

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