Gledswood Hills home saves as much energy as it uses

Evolution: Sekisui House general manager Craig D'Costa said the latest demonstration home - Shinka - was named after the Japanese word for 'evolution' and was designed to be net-zero.
Evolution: Sekisui House general manager Craig D'Costa said the latest demonstration home - Shinka - was named after the Japanese word for 'evolution' and was designed to be net-zero.

Sky-rocketing energy and electricity bills are a fact of everyday life, but what if they didn’t have to be?

A new home designed by developers Sekisui House in Gledswood Hills creates just as much energy as it uses.

This has earned it the enviable title of being ‘net-zero’.

The house, which is only a display at this stage, is the first of its kind in Australia and is inspired by other net-zero homes in Japan.

Sekisui House general manager Craig D’Costa said the company was dedicated to sustainability and the new house – called Shinka – demonstrated that.

“Sekisui House has a long-standing convention to promote highly sustainable housing solutions,” he said. “It is a foundation principle that is ingrained across the company’s global operations. With thousands of homes already constructed in Japan, it made smart business sense to extend this offering to purchasers in the company’s flagship Australian community – The Hermitage at Gledswood Hills.”

Mr D’Costa said the home was designed to have minimal reliance on “excessively-sized solar roofs and battery storage” and incorporated climate control measures to achieve the net-zero status.

“Shinka House will demonstrate that with consideration of passive energy-saving design principles, highly efficient construction methods and use of readily available technology and materials, a home can be operated whilst consuming minimal energy,” he said.

“We have partnered with several local companies – including Alinta Energy – who have installed an in-ground geothermal loop that is connected to the home’s air-conditioning system, enabling the unit to heat and cool from the ambient temperature of the ground.”

Mr D’Costa said the home would be more expensive to construct than a less environmentally-friendly structure, but it would balance out in the long run.

“Energy cost savings will be recognised almost immediately,” he said. “Not to mention the superior comfort that will be experienced on days of extreme weather.

“We believe that through demonstration homes such as Shinka House, the demand for more energy efficient and highly comfortable homes will be established.”