The InsulLiving prototype house built by Bondor has successfully completed a year of human habitation, passing the test with flying colours.

One year after an Aussie family of four moved in, Bondor’s InsulLiving home has achieved an incredible 9.5 star ‘real life’ energy rating.

The InsulLiving home was built by Bondor to showcase its InsulWall and SolarSpan thermal building products. The stylish home in Burpengary, QLD originally achieved an 8-star ‘as designed’ energy rating, easily surpassing the Australian Building Code’s current minimum of six stars.

Now an independent study by the Queensland University of Technology to assess the energy performance of the house during the past year has recalculated the home to an even higher ‘real life’ rating of 9.5 stars.

Over the monitored period, the house required much less heating and cooling than the national average, 13 per cent compared to 39 per cent, according to the report by Dr Wendy Miller of QUT’s Science and Engineering Faculty.

Dr Miller explains the house used 48 per cent less electricity than the average South-East Queensland home, which equated to a heating and cooling bill for the year of just $160, or 44 cents a day. This is attributed to the house’s high 9-star rating, which in this climate, provides a very high level of thermal comfort 87% of the year, without the need to purchase additional space heating or cooling. 

If occupants choose to provide additional comfort through the use of cooling or heating appliances, the energy required to provide this additional comfort is very minimal - about a third of the energy needed by a 6-star house to provide the same level of comfort.

Dr Miller said the InsulLiving construction, which featured structural insulated panels, ‘provided a more consistent and reliable insulation quality for the building envelope, compared with other construction methods’.

Bondor general manager Geoff Marsdon said the QUT findings justified the six years of research and development that went into the InsulLiving system as the next step towards zero energy housing.

According to Marsdon, this data demonstrates how a well designed home using Bondor’s InsulLiving system provides a complete insulation solution with few gaps for heat to escape or enter a house. With the cost of electricity rising all the time, this new data paints a very clear picture of how families can save money.

For the monitored period, the InsulLiving house was ‘net zero energy’ for space heating and cooling, lighting and most water heating, with renewable energy sourced from a modest solar system.

Dr Miller’s report concluded that the installation of a larger 5kW solar system would allow the home to be completely solar powered.

Chris Jacobson, Bondor’s InsulLiving Queensland sales representative, his wife Jodie and their two young children were the family chosen to carry out the ‘human test’ on the house.

Jacobson said the year in the InsulLiving house had proved to him first hand that the system he marketed to Australia’s building industry exceeded all energy-saving expectations.