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8.4 star electric home

8.4 star electric home

8.4 star rated, all-electric home in Gowanbrae, Melbourne.

Designer: Smart SIPs

Builder: Peter & Desma Sullivan

Star Rating: 8.3

Design Brief

The owners had an ambitious goal of having an all-electric home with an 8 star energy rating that would reduce the home’s need for heating and cooling. 

Design Challenge 

A challenging aspect of this design was the block’s severe 5.5m fall with up to a 60 degree slope. But, this wasn't the biggest challenge we were facing. In 2009, the owners’ goal of achieving an 8 star rated, all-electric home was groundbreaking. 

The concept was based on installing PV solar on the roof, reducing the home’s energy consumption to a level where gas heating wouldn’t be needed. Designing an energy efficient home would significantly reduce heating loads.

Design Approach

To achieve the owner’s desire of a high-performance home, we approached the design work around passive solar design principles, incorporating careful placement of living areas with windows sized to maximise the sun’s heat in winter. We utilised window screening to reduce the solar heat gain during summer months. 

We chose Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for the home’s external structure - or envelope - because of their high R Values and low air changes per hour. The use of SIPs and double glazed windows greatly assisted in achieving the high energy rating. 

To further reduce the home’s need for gas, the home uses the heat pump to power its hot water service and induction hot plates for cooking.

To mitigate issues with power use in the evenings or when the Solar PV System isn’t producing power, we designed the home ready to install a battery storage system.

A fresh new approach was needed for the heating and cooling system as the home's needs were greatly reduced due to the high insulation values. The loads were reduced by 70% - 80% from what you would expect when designing an HVAC system for a 6 star rated home. 

We designed a low-energy heating system using infrared wall panel heating. We included a backup split system for top-up heating or cooling on the few days a year when the home would need some help in achieving the design range of 20-25 degrees celsius.  We also incorporated ceiling fans in the living areas and bedrooms.


Design Outcome 

We surpassed the owner’s design brief by obtaining an 8.4 star rated, all electric home through the use of Smart Designing and Smart SIPs’ Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

We are immensely proud to have successfully designed such a challenging brief as far back as 2009 - years ahead of most others in the building and design industries. 

The latest update: The home is a cosy 20-25 degrees year round with minimal heating and cooling use due to it’s smart design and smart building methods. 

The owners are now installing an EV Charger to power up their fully electric car.

Ready to build a sustainable, cost-effective SIPs home?

Contact us today for an obligation-free, ballpark quote.

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