We spoke to Joumana Bright, Marketing Specialist from Summit Homes Group, about their Alkimos Beach Estate display home ‘The Rueben’.
Did you have a goal in sight when designing the layout of this home?
Easystart Homes built the Rueben display home with the goal to deliver a sustainable and affordable family home, which complements existing 6-star energy practices on popular 12.5m x 30m blocks.
This is why we’re so pleased that the Rueben won the award for the most ‘energy smart’ display home in the Alkimos Beach Estate display village. Setting new standards for living, we designed the Rueben to make entertaining easy with a focus on open, free-form living. This was achieved with extensive use of glass from Jason Windows, with double sliding doors opening the open plan living/dining/kitchen area up to the alfresco, exaggerating the feeling of space and encouraging indoor/outdoor living.
The high 31c ceilings and striking feature beams throughout the family-friendly entertaining areas create a stylish point of difference, while the kitchen boasts a long, island bench and a massive walk-in pantry for maximum storage.
The home theatre is positioned at the front of the home, well away from the sleeping zones, and has been flexibly designed to double as a children’s activity room to meet the needs of a growing family. The large master suite is a true haven with an oversized WIR, ensuite with private WC, double sliding doors and a corner window – which allows for an abundance of natural light.
How were the energy efficiency goals achieved?
To reach the energy efficiency goals in our Rueben display home we incorporated the following elements:
- Shaded western glazing was used along with fixed internal openings to allow cooling coastal evening breezes to move through the home. The west facing orientation of the Rueben’s alfresco allows the southwest breeze to penetrate throughout the home. The laundry and dining slider allows for hot air to be flushed out. The theatre window enables additional cooling so the separate living spaces can be flushed out. The south facing bedroom window can be opened to achieve maximum cross flow ventilation, again exiting out the vast openings on the northern areas.
- To make the most of Western Australia’s abundant sunlight, we included a solar hot water system, which can save up to 3.3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. The model selected uses up to 70% less energy than an electric water heater.
- We installed a highly efficient reverse cycle air conditioning unit to ensure year round comfort. This particular unit delivers substantial savings, benefiting both the environment and the power bill.
- In this climate, glass has a major impact on energy efficiency. We used the latest glass processing technology and installed Low E laminated 6.38 mm windows and doors by Jason Windows to ensure this home offers maximum energy efficiency and comfort. Low E laminated glass assists in preventing the transfer of hot and cold which, in turn, provides a higher internal efficiency. No matter the weather outside, the improved insulation and greater solar control of laminated glass ensures that the home can be enjoyed at the ideal temperature all year round.
- Insulation was included for practicality and cost efficiency to make the home more energy efficient by keeping it warmer in winter and cooler in summer, as well as reducing noise transfer within the home.
- LED lighting was used extensively in this home offering approximately 85% energy saving when compared with alternative light fittings.
- The solar panels used in this home offer many environmental benefits including reduction in environmental pollutants due to the minimisation of greenhouse gases.
- An energy monitor or ‘engage hub’ has been installed in this home which allows homeowners to instantly see the energy use cost in the home.
How did the windows and doors play a role in the design?
The windows and doors played an important role in the design of the Rueben, as we wanted to make the most of the coastal surroundings to maximise natural air flow throughout the home. We purposely included shaded western glazing along with fixed internal openings within the home to allow cooling coastal evening breezes to move throughout the home, which can be controlled through the opening ability of the windows as required.
The west facing orientation of the Rueben’s alfresco allows the southwest breeze to penetrate throughout. The laundry and dining slider door allows for hot air to be flushed out. The theatre window enables additional cooling to the separate living spaces to also be flushed out, while the south facing bedroom windows can be opened to achieve maximum cross flow ventilation, again exiting out the vast openings on the northern areas.
The Low E laminated 6.38mm windows and doors supplied by Jason Windows ensures this home offers a comfortable, energy efficient environment. Choosing Low E laminated glass for the home’s elevation creates a great sense of light and space, highlighted with the feature wrap-around recessed window and offers a direct visual connection with the street.
Did you come across any challenges with this home design?
During the construction of the Rueben we encountered two challenges – the size of the block and the building environment. To make the elevation appear wider and more balanced on the 12.5m street frontage, we included a feature pier that extends from the side of the home theatre.
Site constraints, due to the tight frontage, required inventive solutions and extra organisation as multiple deliveries were not able to be accepted. We were able to coordinate a diligent schedule to ensure deliveries of materials were efficiently scheduled to meet the needs of trades and suppliers. Rubbish containment and sand control were carefully monitored so as not to disrupt site conditions.