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10 Star House

10 Star House Challenge

Jul 16, 2012 | Green Rate

The Building Designers Association Victoria (BDAV) held its second annual 10 Star Challenge this April. Green Rate, in collaboration with 3D Building Design & Drafting, were one of 18 entrants who were awarded recognition for successfully designing a 10 Star House.

BDAV says ‘the 10-Star Challenge is for conceptual projects that combine admirable
architecture with efficient planning solutions and materials utilisation’. A 10 Star energy efficient home uses clever design to take advantage of the sun’s energy in winter, and utilise shading and cross-flow ventilation for free cooling in summer. None or very little artificial heating or cooling is required to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the house all year round.

Although the competition is intended for conceptual projects, Paul Caldwell of 3D Building Design & Drafting says ‘this house design is that of a real block in Eltham that a young couple intend to build later in 2012’. This 10 Star House features a large open living plan on the ground floor with large northern windows spanning the full width of the building. Upstairs there are three bedrooms, one with ensuite, as well as an additional bathroom. Other features include a study, laundry and double lock-up garage.

Reverse Brick Veneer is a forward thinking construction technique which has been utilised for all external walls in this house. Traditional Brick Veneer has the brickwork on the external, and a plasterboard lined stud wall on the internal. Conversely, Reverse Brick Veneer has the brick work on the internal and a timber frame with lightweight cladding on the exterior. This method makes greater use of the bricks inherent thermal mass, which helps stabilise temperatures inside the home.

Double glazed windows and high levels of insulation are also used to maximise the homes thermal efficiency. Surprisingly, however, the cost to build this 10 Star House is not as high as you might think. Caleb Young of Green Rate says ‘materials on this house are common to many of today’s 6 Star homes. It is the intuitive design and way in which these materials are used which takes an ordinary house to a 10 Star house’.

With rising energy costs as well as a greater awareness of the benefits to reducing your carbon footprint, it is quite likely we will see more 10 Star homes being built in the near future.