Sustainable Living News

Prefab Innovators Honored at State Awards

This is the second occasion Beaumont Concepts has won the category of Residential Building Design and the third consecutive year Ecoliv Buildings has claimed the GreenSmart Energy Efficiency award making both companies collectively the most awarded residential designer and builder in the area.

HIA awards are held in the highest regard within the residential building community and have grown to become the state’s most distinguished Housing Awards program. The Housing and Kitchen and Bathroom Awards recognise the achievements of those who lead
the way in the design, construction, innovation and technology of housing, kitchens and bathrooms.

Proud recipient of the awards and Director of both companies Ashley Beaumont, said “We’re thrilled to add awards to our trophy cabinet; we truly believe that sustainability and style are not mutually exclusive terms. A small amount of effort can go a long way in creating an efficient and environmentally friendly home,” says Ashley.

The EcoGrid demonstrates how a low impact home can operate when all the elements of sustainable design are considered and integrated into a compact prefabricated home independent of power and water connections. Ashley hopes this prototype will encourage thoughtful living, while addressing issues of future environmental sustainability and self-sufficient living.

Over the years, Beaumont Concepts has also picked up many prestigious design awards, for their beautiful, contemporary and sustainable homes. Ashley indicates that the key to their success lies in great working relationships. “Our approach is always client focused,” said Ashley. “We provide an individual design service and we can design to any brief and budget – and the Breeze Court San Remo projects demonstrates just that”.

An emphasis on beautiful, contemporary and sustainable homes were recognized at the HIA Victorian Awards last Friday 4th November 2016 with local prefabricated home manufacturer Ecoliv Buildings taking out the GreenSmart Energy Efficiency award for the 8 Star off the grid EcoGrid Display home and local building design company Beaumont Concepts awarded Victorian Residential Building Designer of the year.

The perfect pairing of form and function, the San Remo home demonstrates sustainability on a grander scale featuring all the principals of passive solar design. The bold yet restrained façade shows restraint and refinement in design and the luminous interior spaces feature a coastal ambiance to reflect the location.

The EcoGrid display home will progress into the national GreenSmart awards in the category Energy Efficiency which are announced in 2017 in Sydney.

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4 ways to renovate for the environment

Featured at RENOADDICT

We often hear about renovating for profit, but how about renovating for the environment? You may have chosen a block which doesn’t face north or have constructed your home out of brick, but that doesn’t mean there are no options for those looking to make their home more sustainable.

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Housing efficiency is one of the biggest impacts we can have on the environment and a more efficient home is often kinder on your household bills. Below are my top tips for renovating to reduce your carbon footprint and your bills.

1. It’s all about energy

One of the first things to look at when considering how efficient your home is to look at your current insulation. Insulation is one of the best ways to save on cooling and heating costs and a properly insulated home could save you 50% on your power bills.

The Australian Government has produced a useful guide about insulating your home based on your home design and climate. Also look at taking advantage of this sunburnt country and all that free solar energy by installing solar panels and a solar hot water system. You can take this further by buying appliances with the maximum energy star rating.

2. Replace your windows

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Consider replacing your windows with double-glazed ones with a high WERS (Window Energy Rating Scheme), this means you will lose less heat from your home.

The WERS scale ranges from zero to ten stars, at Ecoliv we use five-star WERS glass because not only is the ten-star WERS glass incredibly expensive but it is also only appropriate for high temperature industrial settings. In other words, totally inappropriate for a residential building! By choosing the five-star rating this will give you the optimal balance of cost, thermal performance and efficiency.

3. Be smart with water

Installing a water tank will reduce your reliance on the mains water and coupled with a high WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards) rated plumbing fittings will further reduce your water consumption.

When landscaping consider indigenous water saving or drought resistant plants, so that when an inevitable dry summer hits, you won’t have to worry about the lack of water to sustain them.

4. Re-paint with environmentally friendly paints

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If you’re looking to repaint a room or your entire house make sure the walls are kept free from any nasties by using low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints. VOC paints are not only harmful to the environment, but to humans as well. Chemicals found in VOC paints such as Formaldehyde and Benzene, emit vapours that are harmful if inhaled. Paint with less than 250 grams of VOCs per litre are considered low VOC paints.

Even if you are only able to implement a few of these strategies, you will be able to create a more sustainable, more environmentally friendly and above all, economical home.

— Ashley Beaumont is the director of Ecoliv and is passionate about sustainability in the construction industry. His eco prefab homes achieve an eight-star energy rating and have won numerous industry awards with the BDAV, NBDA and HIA.

What is the National Home Energy Rating System (NatHERS)?

We know there’s lot of jargon when talking about sustainable building, so we’ve decided to give you some background info on how energy ratings work and why it’s so important to consider when building or extending your dream home. Delivering your construction project isn’t our only aim; we seek to educate and share our passion for sustainable design with you, so you can make the best choices for your Ecoliv home. We’ll look at the key factors that determine the NatHERS energy rating system such as glazing, shading and insulation.

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Ecoliv Buildings and Beaumont Concepts launch the electric vehicle trial.

Local building designer and builder Ashley Beaumont and his companies Beaumont Concepts and Ecoliv Buildings have secured a place in the Victorian Governments Electric Vehicle (EV) Trial. This will see the local businesses become a hub for EV technology in the area with a new electric vehicle and charging station.

The Department of Transport has loaned an electric vehicle to Beaumont Concepts and Ecoliv Buildings over the trial period, while the White Rd display home and offices will host the first EV changing station for the area. The trial vehicle is a valuable asset to both companies, ahead of their work on the Cape Patterson Eco Village development, which proposes solar-powered charging stations for its residents.

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Sustainable Inner City Living – An Ecoliv Initiative

Sustainable Inner City Living

Project: Sustainable Inner City Living – An Ecoliv Initiative 

There are two very prolific international pre-fabricated projects that sprouted up in the media this week.

The first is the skeptically anticipated Sky City, is a 202 floor pre-fab building under construction in Chengsha, China. Chinese industry specialists doubt the speed and cost of construction, labeling Sky City as, “The child of hot-headed Government officials and technological geeks.”

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