Other Participants: Dave Leggett, Sharyn Blakemore
Text description provided by the architects. The CORE home aims to change the way we think about affordable sustainable housing. Specifically designed for the Australian climate, the stylish, low maintenance and compact three-bedroom design can be adapted for energy ratings from 6 to 10-star to suit a range of budgets.
CORE is a collaboration between a team of dedicated building designers and thermal performance professionals who are passionate about sustainability. Our aim is to develop homes for the Australian housing market, balancing optimal energy efficiency, material sustainability and affordability.
Our key principles are contained in the CORE acronym:
A carbon positive home uses renewable energy sources to generate enough clean energy for the home’s operational needs and a surplus to feed back to the grid. The CORE 9 will pay the home owners $90 year to operate rather than cost in energy bills.
0 Zero Waste
Our objective is to work towards zero waste by adapting designs to use standard material lengths to minimise off-cuts. Selection of materials which are recycled or have the ability to be up-cycled also avoids construction waste contributing to landfill.
Our selection of materials has been influenced by the ability of each component to be manufactured with recycled content to reduce raw material extract, with the ability to be recycled, up-cycled or re-processed after use.
Our goal is to provide affordable homes to the Australian housing market that balance energy efficient design, optimal thermal performance and operational efficiencies to reduce the cost of running CORE homes.
We believe sustainability and affordability shouldn’t be mutually exclusive goals. The CORE home range has been designed to be adapted to multiple energy rating levels and price ranges.
With the rising cost of energy and the need to conserve our precious resources, a sustainable home is becoming a highly desirable and more economical option long term. To respond to this challenge and demonstrate how this can be achieved the CORE 9 prototype has been built at The Cape.
THE CORE 9 integrates sustainable materials with a low embodied energy, and a considered mix of solar power, solar hot water, and rain water harvesting, to reduce and or totally eliminate household utility bills.
We firmly believe good design principles should be available to everyone who wants to build their own home, regardless of budget. To this end, we created a construction scale allowing the building to be adapted to any star rating between 6 and 10-star.
We also set out to design a house suitable for the modern family, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and opening plan living areas. The design was adapted to increase the northern light and maximise cross ventilation. Through constant refinement we eliminated wasted space (such as hallways and entrance areas) reducing construction costs as well as heating and cooling loads.
By using environmentally friendly building products, we’ve reduced the impact of the construction on the environment. In some homes the products used to achieve the high star rating have a detrimental impact on the environment. But in the CORE home, regardless of the star rating, the products specified are environmentally friendly. Construction materials were also selected to ensure minimal maintenance and longevity.
To keep costs as low as possible, we employed standard construction methods, but used them in a different way to increase their performance. For example, the use of the inverted roof truss allows more light into the building but doesn’t require any specialist construction methods or additional costs.
In the course of our research into the cost and the energy efficiency of the design, we discovered we’d created a formula for sustainable design – through a volumetric (or isometric) scale to the house. There is a ratio for the width and length of the build and a separate ratio for the width and height. The area for cladding around the external walls was equal to the floor area and by keeping to this ratio, we achieved extremely high energy efficiency. We are continuing to work on the formula for this ratio and hope that it will one day become a standard reference for builders and designers.