Building products from Boral Bricks were used for an energy-efficient home built on an affordable budget without compromising the design, construction and liveability factors.  

Creating a 9-star energy rated home is often seen in the construction industry as a project for the premium end of the market. Built by residential building company Cosmopolitan Living in collaboration with Boral, the 9-star energy rating for the house was provided on the building’s completion by the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors (ABSA).

The new three-bedroom Newport 160 display home is now open for inspection at the Woodlands Estate, Waterford in south-east Queensland.

According to Chris Condoleon, Operations Manager Queensland and Director, Cosmopolitan Group, the continuing growth in Australia’s ageing demographic, as well as the decreasing affordability of a home for first-home buyers, convinced the building company that there was a gap in the housing market for a type of dwelling that would meet the needs of a broad cross section of Australians.

Condoleon comments that the Newport house appeals to both ends of the market including empty nesters who require a low maintenance home that can be cheaply adapted to changing needs as well as first-home buyers seeking an attractive entry level home that ticked all the boxes for design, energy efficiency and affordability.

Boral Clay & Concrete Regional General Manager Ben Sawley says that they helped select the right products to meet energy and cost objectives in addition to providing the design for the paving and retaining wall components of the house.

The materials selection involved minimal use of lightweight materials with building density and thermal mass provided by Boral clay bricks, concrete roof tiles and concrete blocks. While the minimum energy efficiency rating for new homes in Queensland is a 6 star, the Newport design was upgraded during the planning stages to a 9-star plus without affecting the original design elements in the home.

A key consideration in energy efficient material selection was whether it fitted into the normal building process without increasing the cost of construction. For instance, using glazed Low E Dowell windows to reduce heat absorption involved the same installation process with a better quality of glass, according to Chris Drakos, Cosmopolitan Living Business Development Manager.

Cosmopolitan Living also changed to AirCell for roof and timber wall insulation, since the material had a higher energy rating than the typical foil backed type, without affecting the building process.

High-density, double-brick cavity walls were selected instead of standard brick veneer walls for west-facing dining and living room areas to delay heat transfer into the house and thereby reducing the need for artificial cooling.

Boral was also able to accommodate a 70mm thick brick wall within the original timber framework design in the hallway. This insulated wall will help reduce heat transfer from the sun during the day.  

Careful selection of roof tiles helped to create an energy efficient roof and ceiling system. Light coloured concrete roof tiles in the Boral Windsor Range were used to offer thermal benefits, cost benefits, acoustic insulation and low maintenance advantages.

Cosmopolitan Living also used Boral’s Designer Block to replace the original render design on the façade, providing more interesting texture and colour elements for the entrance area.

The 9-star rating reflects only the house structure and doesn’t take into account energy savings and sustainable techniques in external areas, such as the permeable paving, retaining walls and the low maintenance and low water garden.

Condolean adds that Boral’s permeable paving was also included in the design. The paving allowed water to penetrate below the pavers for collection to water the garden beds and surrounds. The low maintenance gardens, including retaining walls have been planted with edible plants.

Boral products used in the Newport 160 house: 

  • Retaining wall to front: Boral Garden Wall in ‘Charcoal’ 
  • Retaining wall at rear and side: Boral Heathstone Grande in ‘Portstone’ 
  • Pavers used as steppers to the side: Boral Aspenstone pavers in ‘Vanilla’ 
  • Pavers to the rear yard: Boral Hydrapave Permeable Paving in ‘Natural’ 
  • Face bricks: Boral Nuvo Aspire Eucalypt 
  • Front façade feature: Boral Designer Block Split Face Alabaster 
  • Roof tiles: Boral Windsor Driftwood 
  • Windows: Glazed Low E Dowell Windows 
  • Plasterboard Standard Cornice: 90mm Cove Cornice