Helen Lloyd-Martin from design firm 3D Environment recommends Hebel products not only for their reduced impact on the environment but also for their dramatic effect on energy bills.

As a big advocate for Hebel, Lloyd-Martin understands it is the obvious choice for the eco-conscious. However, the benefits of using Hebel go beyond reducing environmental impact – it can also significantly reduce energy consumption in the house, saving money for homeowners.

With energy prices doubling over the past decade, households across Australia are being hit with larger bills.

Having seen first-hand how much this has affected Australian homeowners, Lloyd-Martin said, “Ridiculous energy bills are just a given, but I’ve had clients come to me with a quarterly energy bill from their previous homes of over $2,000, which to me is absolutely horrifying.”

The hike in energy costs notwithstanding, higher energy bills are also caused by high usage of electricity in homes – Lloyd-Martin attributes the high energy usage to poor design. For instance, there are houses that do not have a single north-facing window or feature brick veneer walls that aren’t properly insulated. Many houses being built aren’t in line with current thinking in sustainable building and it’s hitting homeowners in their back pockets, the designer explained.

Instead of an uninsulated brick veneer wall, a simple improvement would be to replace the brick with Hebel block or Hebel PowerPanelXL external wall system.

Contrary to popular perceptions that eco-friendly designs are expensive and suitable only for high-end builds, incorporating passive design is achievable on any budget.

“You don’t have to have all the bells and whistles to achieve good passive design. Most people don’t have the budget for that anyway. The techniques I use are really simple, and many of the choices I make in terms of (sustainable) design and materials selection are not costing a lot more, Lloyd-Martin said.

She finds it a little frustrating that many in the building industry aren’t embracing sustainability, given that there is definitely a market for it. Her firm, 3D Environment has won projects over the years through her reputation as an energy-efficient designer as well as recommendations from previous clients who have discovered the ‘life-changing benefits’ of passive design.

Lloyd-Martin’s specialised skills in sustainable design have not only helped her clients build more eco-conscious homes, but also positively impacted her own lifestyle. Her 21-year-old home is built with Hebel blocks, providing her family with a sustainable, quiet and very comfortable dwelling to live in year-round.

Offering her clients similar benefits has been a rewarding experience for the designer as she helps them reduce growing energy costs.

Image: The sustainable Grose View, NSW home by 3D Environment is clad in Hebel PowerPanelXL