Dawning of the net zero home

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Australian buyers, besieged by mounting living costs, are increasingly insistent on acquiring homes with pronounced sustainability credentials. A noteworthy answer to this growing demand is the advent of zero net carbon homes featuring energy-efficient design, eco-friendly fixed appliances, and solar energy mechanisms.

17 August 2023

These homes confer several distinct advantages. They promise considerable financial relief through reducing energy bills by an estimated 60-70% when compared to a standard 6-star Nationwide House Energy Rating System (NatHERS) rated home in Melbourne. Additionally, these homes offer an elevated living experience, with their insulation and draught-proofing techniques ensuring comfortable internal temperatures year-round. 

Zero net carbon homes also make a significant impact on the environment by potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions by five to eight and a half tonnes annually. In addition, they contribute to improved health outcomes, as they align with the World Health Organisation’s housing and health guidelines. 

Pioneering the approach to a more sustainable future, in a significant policy change, Victoria has decided to ban gas connections to new homes from 2024, aiming to reduce Victoria’s emissions by 75 to 80% by 2035 and reach net zero by 2045. This is an encouraging step towards reducing the state’s gas emissions, which currently contribute to 17% of Victoria’s total emissions.

The construction of a zero net carbon home involves a two-step process: design modelling and as-built verification assessment.

The design modelling requires NatHERs report with an energy rating of 6.5 stars or above, along with calculations of the home’s fixed appliances’ energy use through a specially designed tool.

The as-built verification ensures the home maintains its zero net carbon standard after construction. 

Zero net carbon homes typically include a range of features to meet the standard, such as superior insulation, double-glazed windows, energy-efficient appliances, optimal building orientation, solar panels, LED lighting, and meticulous draught-proofing. 

Leading the way in sustainable property developments, Marshall White Projects, along with family developer CADRE, is making a substantial impact with their latest project, MATTONE, in Richmond. This ambitious development aims to redefine sustainable living by potentially decreasing each family’s carbon footprint, equivalent to planting 1,500 trees annually. 

The rise of sustainable home builds, particularly zero net carbon homes, marks a promising step towards global sustainability. These homes are not only economically sound and comfortable but also significantly contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in a healthier and more sustainable future.

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