The buildings best-suited for installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system are those buildings that have been designed & constructed to use energy in the most efficient way possible–from an environmental point of view ,renewable energy and sustainable building design go hand-in-hand. Green Homes Australia was founded in 2006 with the intention of propagating the ethos and practice of building truly ‘green’ homes. Turning the perception that green homes are a choice available only to the wealthy on its head, Green Homes Australia (GHA) designs and constructs homes at prices within reach for ordinary homeowners. Their standardised approach to designing and constructing sustainable homes allows their network of builders across Australia to provide highly energy-efficient new-build houses at about the same cost-per-m2 price as an ordinary new-build home.
Green Homes Australia’s approach to building
The group of builders who formed GHA did so upon realising that no trade organisation yet existed for builders who took a holistic approach to sustainable building. Instead, the norm at the time was for sustainable features to be treated as add-ons (with additional costs) for standard new-build homes. GHA was established to fill this gap in the market, creating an Australia-wide network of green builders–the first network of its kind in the country–who approached sustainability in housing from the ground up.
The knowledge brought to bear by GHA’s original founders has since been codified and distributed to interested builders via a franchise model that allows any builder to access GHA’s institutional insights, expertise, and resources. The result is a nation-wide, trained network of builders who are able to build high-quality, affordable homes that offer excellent energy performance, saving their owners substantial sums over the course of their lifetimes in the form of reduced power bills, among other benefits. GHA has now been involved in building over 250 green, energy-efficient homes, each costing on average around $1,300-$1,350/m2.
GHA: Benefits to homeowners
-All homes are built with GHA’s 26 ‘Green Building Principles’ at their core;
–Materials used in construction are, wherever possible, sourced sustainably;
–Savings of 60+% off of annual energy bills possible with GHA’s energy-efficient designs, which incorporate ‘passive solar’ techniques (i.e. taking advantage of the sun’s movements throughout the day/year), thermal mass, and advanced insulation strategies;
–No compromise in comfort vs a conventional, ‘non-green’ home;
-All homes assembled by certified green builders;
–Energy-efficient homes for standard builder prices;
–All homes are custom-built to client requirements and circumstances–ensuring maximum energy efficiency in the outcome.
Benefits to builders who buy into a GHA franchise
–Tap into Australia’s booming eco-housing market & gain the insight to make strong offerings to new homeowners who are conscious of high energy & gas prices;
–Access to 15 ready-made green home plans that use standard materials available through GHA’s resource channels;
The ‘Mapleton’, one of Green Homes Australia’s ready-made green home plans
–Design & construction support from an experienced head-office;
–Opportunity to become an expert in green design & construction in your local area;
–Receive head office support for local marketing whilst also reaping the benefits of GHA’s nation-wide marketing reach;
-Understanding of green building principles means that any job a builder undertakes–be it renovation, fit-out, or restoration–can be turned into a green-build with an energy-efficient result.
How green design and solar PV work together
Australia’s solar panel installation boom of the past few years has been driven by the idea that solar power is a good financial investment. The 1 million+ homes that have installed solar systems are testament to the attractiveness of solar PV as a way to reduce power bills, and homeowners’ collective interest in doing so.
Although energy efficiency is certainly not a prerequisite for installing a solar PV system, it is unarguably a smart move to implement energy efficiency measures in any house that goes solar–whether it be an installation new-build home or a retrofit. This is because ensuring that their home is using electricity as efficiently as possible–which includes the idea of avoiding the use of electricity wherever possible–is the best way to ensure that none of the energy produced by a solar system is being wasted.
Want your new home to be a green home?
If you’re interested in learning about the potential for your current or future home to maximise its energy efficiency potential, get in touch with Green Homes Australia to learn about your options. Email GHA at firstname.lastname@example.org, call them on 1300 724 661, or visit their website: www.greenhomesaustralia.com.au.
If you’re interested in into solar system installation prices & options in your area, fill out the Solar Quote Comparison request form to the right of this page, or talk to a Solar Choice broker on 1300 78 72 73.
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