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12 hours ago

Gruen Eco Design

Don’t get me wrong. I really do like our current house and I definitely don’t want to sound snotty.

As some of you might know, we had renovated our brick veneer unit a few years ago and had turned the cold and draughty 0.8 star house into a comfortable 8.4 star home. But you see, the star rating is a theoretical rating, done on paper, assuming best practice and perfect installation of the insulation, without any gaps.
And although our house performs beautifully and is worlds apart from what it has been, it definitely does not perform as well as an 8.4 star home should.

Reason being that we were not able to reach everywhere to install the insulation properly. And the insulation company we had used in 2011 was hopeless. Leaving gaps in the insulation everywhere. Even though we tried to fix up a lot of the gaps, I know that we didn’t get to all of them.

The thing is, our little house really does perform well. And even in winter our ducted heating only runs for short periods throughout the day to maintain a very comfortable 21 degrees. And when we turn off the heater at 7pm, when our kids go to bed, we usually still have a fairly comfortable 17 degrees in the morning, before turning on the heater.
But, it could be soooo much better.

That’s why I can’t wait to live in our own passive house.

The Passive House Standard is a rigorous, but voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building's ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little to no energy for space heating or cooling, even for the coldest and hottest parts of the world. Given you a guaranteed performance.

Read more here.

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3 days ago

Gruen Eco Design

#repost
You may ask yourself: Why the 20/20 House? What does it mean?
I guess if you have studied architecture and even more so if you design houses for a living, it is only natural that all that you are dreaming of is designing and building your own dream home one day. For us as a couple with 2 architexxx (no, hold on, I’m not allowed to say that, since I’m not registered as one) with 2 that have studied architecture, it was a real mission.
Several years ago, while we were still looking for our first home, that turned out to be our 8.4 Star renovation in Vermont, we started to make plans for our future home. Our goal was to be in our very own home by 2020. Also, especially when coming to Australia, we were really shocked about the quality of the homes and how cold they felt and how difficult it was to feel comfortable in them. The mission was to create the perfect family home. Nice and comfortable, not too big, not too small. Architecturally appealing, energy efficient, sustainable and most importantly affordable.
This was the 20/20 Vision for our Future.
There you go. And now finally, many, many years after we started dreaming about it, we bought a block of land!!! And our journey of building a passive house has started.
The plan is to rent out the existing house for 1 – 1,5 years while we design our new family home and prepare all required plans and permits. And then hopefully start building end of 2018. Which will bring us into our new home in mid 2019 if all goes well. Happy times ahead.
We bought ourselves a little challenge. A very wide easement and stringent setback restrictions, combined with a bit of a slope will call for some compromises and creativity. But well, where is the fun without a challenge?

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4 days ago

Gruen Eco Design

Here a few more internal images from our Richmond project.
Can you see the sunken garden?
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6 days ago

Gruen Eco Design

What a great way to spend this amazing morning: helping others to live a more sustainable life!
#lovewhatyoudo #dowhatyoulove
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7 days ago

Gruen Eco Design

And another image from our self sufficient off the grid home in Smiths Gully ... See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Gruen Eco Design

Are you thinking about renovating or extending your existing home but don’t know if you can afford what you want to do and don’t know where to start?

Or would you like to build a new home but no one can really tell you how much it will cost you to build your dream home?

Are you to scared to sign up a designer or builder because you don't want to end up paying lots of money in fees to find out that what you want is way above your budget?
What if I would tell you there is a quick and easy way to explore your options without paying a fortune?

It's a Feasibility Design Review

So, what 's this you might ask?
Read more here. ow.ly/StCr30m2sAp
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1 week ago

Gruen Eco Design

It took a bit of time to get here. As the client's chosen builder was not available to start earlier.

But we are finally about to start construction of this great double storey extension project in Blackburn. Overlooking beautiful Blackburn Lake Park. It does not get much nicer than this 🙂
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1 week ago

Gruen Eco Design

Being green and sustainable is such a trend thing at the moment. Everyone and every company or product claims to be sustainable or green. But how do you know if they are really interested in making a change. Or if they really care about the environment and have knowledge about sustainanable and energy efficient construction?
If you start having conversations with a potential builder for your renovatin, extension or new build, here are some things you should ask before making a decision on who to engage.

1. Have you build or worked on a highly energy efficient/sustainable homes
before?

2. What star rating did the house achieve?
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3. What did you do to make sure the house actually did perform as a 7 / 8/ or 9 star home?

Read more about what answers to those questions to look for here:
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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

LEAD DESIGNER / ARCHITECT with Excellent REVIT skills

This is a great opportunity for a creative lead designer/ architect who is as passionate about sustainable design as we are to join our Gruen Eco Design family.

This role is for someone who is committed to their long-term carrier and is also committed to see our young company grow with us and help us shape the build environment and design beautiful energy efficient and sustainable homes for future generations.

Take ownership of your projects and manage them from start to finish across a range of diverse projects from small renovations and energy efficiency upgrades, extensions, new homes and town houses to certified passive homes.

Join our young, friendly and highly collaborate office culture that encourages work/life balance and supports training and personal development opportunities. We provide family friendly flexibility working hours, working from home 1 day a week possible.

RESPONSIBILITIES
- Manage projects from start to finish
- strong background in design and documenting with a keen eye for detail along with a passion for sustainability and great design skills
- work in collaboration with our director and the other team members
- Co-ordinate other team members, skills and processes in our team to improve the processes and systems
- efficient and effective creation of accurate design and documentation for clients, consultants and builders
- ensuring all projects are delivered on time and budge
- good communicator
- organized, and able to prioritise and re-prioritise

Read more here

gruenecodesign.com.au/we-are-hiring-lead-designer-architect-with-excellent-revit-skills/

If this opportunity sounds exciting and you believe you have what we are looking for, please send an email to simone@grueneecodesign.com.au and attach your resume along with a cover letter.
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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

As promised here more photos from our double storey extension to a heritage house in Richmond.
Love the kitchen.
photos Carlos Gali Photography

gruenecodesign.com.au/project/double-storey-extension-richmond/
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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

And some first renderings from our self sufficient home out in Smiths Gully.
Such a stunning site.

Over the last weeks we had done some design development, trying to find the ideal location on the steep side, trying to find the right amount of cut and fill.

Furthermore we have been doing sun studies to ensure the huge north facing gum trees won't overshadow us. It turned out their shadow impact was much more than we and the clients had anticipated.

So we played a bit around with the location and have rotated the house a bit on the site and also moved it slighly.
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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

Insulation needs to be installed with careful attention to detail, as inappropriate or incorrect application will crucially decrease performance. For instance, failure to butt all ends and edges of batts to give a snug fit could mean that about 5% of the ceiling area is not being covered. This could result in losing up to 50% of the potential insulation benefits.
Avoid thermal bridges
Eliminate gaps in insulation
Do not compress bulk insulation
Protect insulation from contact with moisture, provide vapour and moisture barriers to prevent condensation
Provide a sealed air space of 25mm adjacent to reflective insulation
Allow clearance around appliances and fittings
All electrical wiring encased in insulation must conform to AS3000: Electrical installations-buildings, structures and premises. It’s best to keep wiring clear of insulation, e.g. to run wiring on top of ceiling joists.
Neither good performing insulation or a 6 or 7-star energy rating are a guarantee for real energy efficiency. The building envelope needs to be treated as a delicate continuous shell. Each small gap and leakage will impair the performance of the insulation. It is essential to consider the end product in order to determine how energy efficient a building really is. Even small gaps in the insulation such as around windows or other wall penetrations can halve the potential insulation benefits. Adding good performing and appropriately installed insulation can save a lot on your energy bill and minimise the greenhouse gas emission.

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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

Last week our Gruen Eco Design team visited the new office of our friends at Fenster and Panel, (Structural Insulated Panels), Tuson Construction and Astleigh Engineers in Heidelberg Heights.
To check out their new office as well as to discuss the our sips projects with them.

Especially when building an air tight and thermal bridge free passive house a close cooperation with the structural engineer is really important. And as most of you know, we are big Sips fans 🙂

So what's better than a sips manufacturer with an in-house structural engineer 😉

Check out all the different types of sips!
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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

And here are some photos from the house I just spoke about yesterday.
The project where we had the massive problems with the retaining walls.
The clients are doing such an amazing job as owner builders.

The foam cladding has been installed on top of the sips panels. And the HRV (ventilation system) has also been installed.

How exciting.
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3 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

Today I want to talk about a bit of a different subject. Walls on boundaries. I know, this has nothing to do with building a sustainable home. But regardless, it is something to keep in mind. And when building your sustainable home, you might need to build against a boundary.
The background story. In May 2015 we had started the design for a new energy efficient double storey SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) residence in Burwood.
All was going well. By July 2015 the design was finished. We had designed a highly efficient 8.1-star home. We thought we were lucky because we did not need a planning permit for the new family home, so straight we went to construction drawings. We prepared all the required drawings, specifications, cabinetry design. The builder was all ready to go, Sips panels ready to be manufactured and windows from Germany about to be ordered. We only needed the neighbour to sign from 3 and form 4 in order to get the building permit. Easy, right?

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3 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

Not a bad view for a pre workshop coffee ☕️ 😊looking forward to an other amazing day and lots of exciting things to learn. ... See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

And another new exciting highly energy efficient home in the making. Can’t wait to start working on this project. #lovewhatyoudo #dowhatyoulove ... See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

The purpose of thermal insulation in a building is to regulate the internal temperature by minimising or stopping heat transfer through radiation, convection and conduction. Generally speaking, there are two different types of insulation that must work together to prevent heat transfer: Bulk insulation and reflective insulation.
Bulk insulation
Bulk insulation mostly resists the transfer of conducted and convected heat, using millions of tiny pockets filled with still air or other gases within its structure. This air provides the material’s insulating effect, therefore it’s essential not to compress bulk insulation. Bulk insulation is available in different shapes and materials.
-Batts and Blankets (Glasswool/Fibreglass, Wood Fibre Board, Rockwool, Natural Wool, Polyester)
-Loose-fill insulation (Cellulose Fibre, Natural Wool, Granulated Rockwool)
-Boards (Extruded Polystyrene, Foil-faced expanded polystyrene, Wood Fibre)
Reflective insulation
Reflective insulation mainly resists radiant heat flow. It is made of thin sheets of highly reflective aluminium foil, which reflects heat from its polished surfaces. The performance relies on the presence of an air layer of at least 25 mm next to the reflecting surface. Keep in mind that dust will greatly reduce the performance. Some examples include:
– Reflective Foil Laminate
– Multi-Cell Reflective Foil Products
– Expandable Concertina-Style Foil
– Foil Bonded to Bulk Insulation
For information about electrical safety checks for householders with foil insulation go to ‘Home Insulation Program’ webpage from the Australian Government.
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The 20/20 House

The Gruen Eco Design blog about how to convert your dream from an energy efficient home into a reality.

The 20/20 House part 14 – Landscape Design

The Gruen Eco Design blog about how to convert your dream from an energy efficient home into a reality.     When designing and building your home the landscape design and the garden is often the last thing on the list and more often than not there isn’t much money...

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Sustainable Design blog

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