Energy Efficient Eco Sustainable Super Homes

PURE’s Eco Homes are Passive House and High Performance Build Homes designed to be super energy efficient and achieve an outstanding Home Energy Rating equating to 8 stars and beyond. NOTE: that is ‘ACTUAL LIVING STARS’ awarded on the basis of actual BLOWER DOOR test results…not theoretical ones! Our Energy Efficient homes are easily in the top quartile of the most efficient homes in Australia.

  • Super Contemporary Beveridge 35SQ Passive House – 0.58ACH
  • The Copenhagen 55SQ Custom at Croydon Hills HPB Level 2 – 1.36 ACH
  • Coburg 22SQ Passive House – 0.56ACH
  • Blackburn Low Energy Passive House – 0.84ACH
  • The STERLING 24SQ Level 1 HPB 1.62ACH
  • The Langwarrin Eco Mansion 33SQ Level 1 HPB – 3.3ACH

Now THAT IS REAL EFFICIENCY! (read energy efficiency and the blower door test to understand what this means).

PURE applies its Passive House System and principles to build homes that are incredibly energy efficient. They incorporate:-

1. PURE’s proprietary unique ‘Build Technologies Synergy’™

2. Use of World Class-leading SIGA Airtight & Weathertight systems

3. Heat and Cool management designed to 8 Stars+ in “Actual Living” energy efficiency (not theoretical computer modelling – see below)

4. Use of Passive solar orientation where available.

5. Premium Quality European uPVC Argon-gassed double glazed windows (NO Aluminium! – Timber is good but high maintenance).

6. Electric or Gas boosted solar hot water system (we understand many don’t wish to use gas) OR superbly efficient German Heat Pump Technology drawing just 2.2amps to make hot water from the air around! Yes it does work! We pioneered the twin tank system at teh Croydon Hills Mansiont o give 700litres.

7. Use of Water saving technology or go wholly ‘off mains supply’ with our Rainwater Catchment Purification System that delivers purified rainwater and huge annual cost savings to you

8. LED lighting and efficient appliances

“It takes the same amount of energy to condition a ‘leaky’ home of 80m2 as it does an airtight home of 400m2”. (Institut fur Bauphysik – Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics; Stuttgart, Germany.)

That research-based finding says almost everything that an astute home owner should heed about leaky vs airtight structures – i.e. like a PURE home. Effectively your new taditionally build home, beautiful as it may look as a display, will be costing you up to 5 TIMES on average to run over its lifecycle. If you genuinely want to reduce your global ‘footprint’ and save your hard earned money, this should be your starting point.

Built along the principles from PassivHaus (PH) and ‘High Performance Building (HPB)’, PURE focuses on an airtight structure, properly installed insulation and extensive sealing techniques, very high indoor air quality, and low heat/cool demand per square metre. In a High Performance Home build, orientation is just one of the desirable elements, but it is NOT a vital prerequisite in the efficiency equation, as it is in a Passive Solar Design Home (PSD). Pure has taken these ‘principles’ and customised them to the Australian environment (because we don’t have the extremes of weather Europe does but we can still benefit from the efficiency equation).

Don’t be discouraged by those who say that the PH and HPB principles do not apply in our climate. Rubbish! The build has to be adapted to the climatic conditions. Agreed, we don’t need 300-400mm thick walled insulation and some of the other aspects that kick the cost well above that affordable for most; but the HPB provides us a path to affordable Super Energy Efficient Building and substabtially reduced demand on energy for internal conditioning.

Stopping air leakage is a primary goal. It’s the uncontrolled flow of air into your home that has found its way through the cracks and gaps in your building fabric, provided free of charge, untentionally of course, by your traditional builder! Contrast this with what PURE is trying to achieve – the controlled flow of air into and out of your home – VENTILATION. (Please read about Energy Efficiency and Blower Door Testing as well). This has been proven around the World as the most efficient way to build a super Energy Efficient Home. It is then tested under Real Living conditions to ensure that YOU the Owner get what you paid for!

Throwing in LED lighting or a few solar panels on the roof or using a rain water tank instead of mains water does not magically make an energy efficient eco home; nor does slapping some low VOC paint on the walls make it an allergy friendly home, although they are part of the equation. Yet these claims are increasingly being made to unaware buyers. Of great importance is the thermal integrity of the building structure which seems to be greatly lacking in current traditional home construction. (see our PassivHaus sub-menu page).

The January 2014 heatwave and subsequent cold winter in Melbourne illustrates the issue with PSD homes which are designed to rely on e.g. cross winds ventilation and stack funnelling to keep their occupants cool. These homes claim to have no heating or cooling…and so obtain their computer modelled ‘theoretical efficiency’ of 9 to 10 star ratings – (tick the check boxes and claim your stars!). Seriously, would you be opening your windows in the 40+ degree days or the 5 degree nights we experience in Victoria particularly if you have younger kids or babies or elderly parents living with you?

PURE has taken the European HPB experience and Australianised it. Now Australians too can benefit from affordable super efficient homes and low lifecycle running costs, but with comfortable living. Building Big doesn’t have to be wasteful and we Aussies love our large homes.

The benefits for a PURE owner viewed over the lifecycle of a PURE home are that it is considerably more comfortable to live in because of more stable internal temperatures, costs considerably less to run than a traditionally built home (with timber walls/brick veneer/concrete tile)…up to 5 times less and potentially more, and protects and enhances your family’s health 24/7 with fresh purified air free of pollens, diesel particulates and other nasties that you are forced to breathe in everyday!

In Australia, builders are required to use ‘THEORETICAL computer software generated values to estimate how their homes may perform energy efficiency-wise. This is in contrast to Europe, UK, US and Canada where building codes require builders conduct blower tests prior to handover to determine whether the building meets the air tightness and energy design rating that has been sold to the owner! So don’t be fooled by the current system and theoretical energy efficiency star ratings. These do not apply in Real Living. Sure, it’s better than nothing, but it doesnt represent ‘Real Living’ home running costs.

Tests conducted on Australian 5 star-rated homes have found that in practice they perform as a 2.5/3 star rated home. (See article 12 in Buyer’s Library – Main Menu). The CSIRO study quoted 19.5ACH for the average Aussie home in melbourne. So the owner pays for a 5 star (now 6) home energy-rated build, but is delivered half that. It’s like placing an order for a V8 engine car and being delivered a 2 litre engine. Now think about what you would do if you were a victim of that? Yet so many buyers just accept that of their home; a purchase worth 10 times more! Our Building Surveyors and authority are currently more concerned about whether we can peer through the tinest gap in the side of windows into a neighbour’s garden, than they are about airtightness or thermal integrity of a structure. In fact most would’nt know what that means. It’s an absolute disgrace!

Based on the research tests, when the test to building even a relatively airtight standard home is a FAIL, would you trust ‘normal’ builders to build your eco energy efficient home? Don’t be hoodwinked by the glossy brochures and display homes filled with optional extras, ‘Eco’ Home name tags or loudly trumpeted awards of ‘energy efficient’ homes based on theoretical computer modelled estimates.

This whole Energy Efficiency thing can get quite confusing. Do you build a Passive Solar Design Home or a Passive House or a High Performance Build Home based on PassivHaus principles, the world’s most rigorously tested system? Given your comfort level, which is the better choice? If you can’t do without your heating and cooling (we do live in Melbourne!), think seriously about the Passive or HPB as a minimum. Do your research (so you can spot the BS) before talking to builders. Read this websites articles. There are some good PSD specialists out there, and Pure can recommend a couple to you if that is what you ultimately want to build;…but also far too many who have jumped on the ‘Eco’ or ‘Green’ bandwagon as a means to get more sales. Caveat Emptor!