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22 hours ago

Gruen Eco Design

Nothing makes me happier than a happy client.
Or I should rather say: a beatiful energy efficient home & a happy client 🙂
Thanks for the awesome review Karen! Really happy that you love your house as much as I do.
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2 days ago

Gruen Eco Design

Getting ready for an exciting day at the Sustainable House Day in Bendigo. Looking forward to talk about energy efficient and sustainable homes and how they can not only influence our pockets but also our well being 🏠💕 #dowhatyoulove #lovewhatyoudo #buildingforthefuture ... See MoreSee Less

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4 days ago

Gruen Eco Design

Are you sick of living in a cold and draughty home? Are you sick of paying a fortune on energy bills?

Do you want to enjoy your home, have low energy bills and live in peace and thermal comfort?

The solution is actually not that hard. And building a sustainable and energy efficient home does not need to cost more than building a standard custom designed home.

Sustainable design can and must be affordable for everyone and as a matter of course should be integrated naturally throughout the whole designprocess, rather than designing something and trying to make it sustainable later.

Nowadays building green is such a trend thing. But there are actually 7 secrets that are oftenoverlooked during the design process and the construction.

Sign up to receive this free 16 page guide that brings together all the elements that make up sustainable design into one simple overview.

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6 days ago

Gruen Eco Design

How blessed are we?
Another amazing site with stunning views.
Can't wait to show you some first 3d images soon #mountdandenong
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1 week ago

Gruen Eco Design

#repost
As I had mentioned in the previous post. We were lucky to be successful at an auction and have bought land, or I should rather say a house with land in Bayswater North. Not as close to the school as we had wanted. Yet, we had made the decision based on the financial merits of this particular house. Due to an unusual shape, combined with a large easement, we were able to buy around $100,000 cheaper than we had originally budgeted for. Which will help us keep the mortgage lower and take financial stress of us as a family.
After buying there are all sorts of legal and financial things you have to sort and go through. Engaging a conveyancer to look after the legal side of things and the transferal of the title. Providing your bank or mortgage broker with all the information and documents they need to finalise the finance for your new home. Making sure you have the required equity or cash available when settlement comes. And in our case, starting to look for tenants also. And we had to decide wherever we would only want to pay interest rates, while renting out the house, or if we would opt for principle and interest. If opting for interest only the actual interest rate would be higher, than if we would also pay principles. Which basically means the bank gets more money from you. Which we don’t want. Consequently, we have decided to rather pay principles and interest. Even though the principles will obviously not be tax deductible.
The land we bought has a 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom house on it. Our plan is to rent out the house for 1 to 1,5 years while we get the design and all the required drawings and permits together. Hence we engaged a real estate agency to already look for tenants even prior to settlement. With the plan to have tenants moving in straight away, to help with the mortgage repayments.
read the full article here
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1 week ago

Gruen Eco Design

When I started working in Australia in 2007,I was puzzled how thin walls can be. For example, an external wall can 110mm, 90mm for the timber studs, 10mm plasterboard on one side ,10mm fc sheeting on the outside and insulation just between the studs. This construction in general is not allowed in most European countries, as it creates a structural thermal bridge. The U-value of timber is much higher than the U-value of the insulation, which means that heat can escape through the timber studs in the wall and consequently increases unwanted heat gain or loss. In Europe, the main focus lies on avoiding thermal bridges. A timber construction is usually done as a double stud wall. In this case, there is also a timber stud to the interior, covered with plasterboard and insulation between the studs, but at the outside is another continuous layer of insulation, and then another timber stud, with external plasterboard and again insulation in between. (see diagram below)
In Australia, there are no strict regulations about thermal bridges and also no minimum insulation regulations for concrete slab-on-ground construction, roof or internal walls.
Read more here:

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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

Here comes a preview of our quirky little extension project in Watsonia. We are extending the living room and adding a little mezanine level that will act as a work space and will have quite a industrial finish. ... See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

Thinking about making your existing home more energy efficient or building a new sustainable home?

Don’t know where to start? Or do you want some advice on how to improve the design or the overall energy efficiency of the home?

Do you need a bit of help to get started?

Register for a free half an hour design consultation with our sustainability expert and certified passive house designer Simone Schenkel.

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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

And the winner is:
A really creative sample for a well performing passive house.
Well done Habitech
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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

Very exciting.
Winners to be announced soon.
I had the honor of being the judge for this year Best Ecologically Sustainable Design.
Check out the amazing finalists.
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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

At the Bayside Built Environment Awards night ... See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

The total radiation received per window varies according to the time of the year and the orientation. In summer, all windows receive heat gains, in particular those facing east and west. Whereas in winter, only windows facing north, north-west and north-east have a net heat gain, with heat gains outweighing heat losses. Windows facing all other directions will affectively lose more heat than they can gain. However, in the absence of northern solar access, windows to the east and west can provide some winter heat gains.
The most appropriate size of windows in terms of energy efficiency depends on many factors, such as glazing type, orientation of a building and thermal mass located inside the building materials. It is important to consider every room separately, as each room may have different acceptable limits and therefore may need different sized windows. Thinking about the windows early in the design process can save time and money otherwise needed later in the progress, to chase after the required stars to obtain a valid energy rating. We can help determine the effect of variations to window orientations, window sizes, internal glazing, double glazing versus single glazing, shading and internal coverings by using the FirstRate House Energy Rating software. Below are some clues on how and where to place windows.
HOW TO ORIENTATE AND SIZE WINDOWS
Windows should be orientated to the north where possible. If solar access is good, north-facing windows should be large, but the size also depends on the amount of thermal mass in the building. South and east-facing windows should be kept pretty small, and windows to the south need to be positioned to enable cooling summer breezes to pass easily through the rooms. Whereas west-facing windows should be avoided where possible, if needed they should be relatively small and well shaded.

Read more in our blog post
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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

Things are progressing slowly with our soon to be certified passive house in Longford.
We are still working on the details and have started to put in the details for the certification process. Exciting times 🙂
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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

Another round of speed dating is about to start at CERES . What an amazing morning to help others improving their home. #speeddateasustainabilityexpert #lovewhatyoudo #dowhatyoulove ... See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

We are so excited to participate in the AUSTRALIAN GIRLS´DAY -
FUTURE PROSPECTS FOR GIRLS on the 16th of November.

The Girls' Day - the biggest career orientation project for girls worldwide - comes to Australia! The aim of this campaign is to expand the range of career choices of women and to promote diversity in the workplace. For the first time in Australia, girls from years 7 and 8 have the opportunity to visit companies and universities and accompany women in STEM careers. They can actively participate in projects and gain insight into innovations that are related to Germany.

We will do a workshop with the girls where they will design a highly energy efficient home that does not need any heating or cooling at all. How exciting 🙂

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3 weeks ago

Gruen Eco Design

New additions to our Gruen Eco Design Family

Thanks to everyone who has applied for the position of our new lead designer / architect.

The position has now been filled.

In fact, we had such great applicants that we have decided to welcome 2 new members into our Gruen Eco Design family.

We are very excited to have an experienced passive house designer/architect join our team and help us with all our passive house projects.

But we also welcome a great young graduate architect. Her passion for sustainable design and the environment made it impossible for me to not employ her 🙂

Stay tuned for a more formal introduction soon.

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3 weeks 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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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 1

The Gruen Eco Design blog about how to convert your dream from an energy efficient home into a reality. My partner and I are planning to build an affordable energy efficient house for our family. So I thought I take this opportunity to write about all the things we...

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Sustainable Design blog

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