Queensland’s Eco Essence Homes won the 2016 HIA Australian GreenSmart Home award, the highest accolade at the prestigious awards program that recognises the best in environmentally-responsible housing.

Smart design enabled the winning home by Eco Essence Homes to utilise the natural environment for heating and cooling, natural light and water for landscaping. According to the judges, the use of thermal mass materials, large North-facing windows and insulation to all rooms helps to produce a steady internal temperature and comfortable home year-round. An energy monitoring system providing up-to-date usage information helps the residents keep a check on their energy consumption. The Eco Essence home also won the award for HIA GreenSmart Spec Home.

This year’s HIA Australian GreenSmart Awards recognised companies and individuals from all around Australia for their contribution to sustainable building practices.

Blue Eco Homes won the HIA GreenSmart Custom Built Home award for their eco-friendly and sustainable residence built in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, which provides access to the sun and a high level of thermal insulation while taking advantage of the natural surroundings.

Joe Mercieca from Blue Eco Homes, NSW won the HIA GreenSmart Professional award for setting new standards with his commitment to sustainability.

Benchmark Building Projects, NSW won HIA GreenSmart Renovation/Addition Project by taking on the challenges of preserving ancient trees, endangered birds and a steep sloping site to create a home that provides long term energy savings through carefully chosen materials.

A seven-unit development by Right Homes in Western Australia won three awards – HIA GreenSmart Residential Development, HIA GreenSmart Water Efficiency and HIA GreenSmart Energy Efficiency – impressing the judges with their commitment to reducing energy consumption and lowering living expenses for the occupants.

Right Homes also won HIA GreenSmart Project Home for a solar passive home, which carefully considered the orientation of the block, insulation needs, ventilation, thermal mass, client lifestyle and budget to produce a home that was comfortable and affordable to run.

NEAThouse Tasmania won HIA GreenSmart Display Home for a home, which prioritised the use of locally made materials such as reclaimed cypress from farm windbreaks for external cladding, and pine wall linings from Tasmanian sources on the inside.

Steele Associates, NSW won the HIA GreenSmart Townhouse/Villa Development award for a three-townhouse development that seamlessly incorporates low energy building design to produce stylish and comfortable spaces.

Ecoshelta, NSW won HIA GreenSmart Product for their Bigpod N Series, a prefabricated modular building system ideal for remote, exposed and limited access sites. The system minimises the environmental footprint of building a home – both for the site and for the environment as a whole.

ZEGO Building Systems specialises in the manufacture and supply of insulated concrete forms, formwork and alternative wall building systems.

Image: 2016 HIA Australian GreenSmart Home – Eco Essence Homes