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Apr 20, 2021 01:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney | 1 x Formal CPD point for Designers and 1 x CAT 1 CPD for Thermal Performance Assessors

Mullum Creek is a peri-urban eco-housing development in Donvale Victoria that has drawn considerable interest amongst Australian building professionals by eliciting processes and outcomes that go well beyond, and address weaknesses in, what has generally been considered best practice sustainable development.

Both in early project framing, in preparation of environmental design and construction guidelines tied to purchase of lots, as well as through formal step-by-step design reviews and construction overview, architect Paul Haar and his team steered hundreds of lot owners, architects, building designers, engineers, operational energy assessors, building and landscape contractors:

  • To achieving a genuine NatHERS minimum 7.5 star energy rating for all homes, verified at design stage by a single independent and rigorous energy assessor commissioned by the developer, and at construction stage via rigorous inspections.
  • To include continuous ground slab insulation, crucial for highly glazed homes chasing 7.5 stars in a cool climate zone, by way of careful design and construction detailing that was largely unfamiliar to local industry.
  • To contain built form and newly planted trees within prescribed lot-specific 3D building and vegetation envelopes that preserve good mid-winter inter-lot solar access for all homes … for their glazing (on which high energy ratings rely), for primary private open space and rooftop photovoltaic arrays.
  • To include minimum 30% supplementary cementitious material (SCM) in all wet mix concrete, spraycrete and mortar.
  • To minimise the use of steel in construction.
  • To source timber products in accordance with strict selection criteria as set by the design guidelines and tightly controlled during construction.
  • To reduce construction waste to landfill by 80% from business as usual via required minimisation and recycling practices.
  • To include min. 20kL rainwater storage and min. 4kW rooftop solar on all home sites.
  • To landscape home sites with stone, wood and plant materials that connect sensitively with the estate’s natural bush surrounds, and to encourage food gardening.

In this webinar, Paul will explain how he and his team framed and executed these initiatives, both the easy and the difficult ones. He’ll also bring the project’s nominated energy assessor Alex Rentsch into the presentation to discuss methods applied to secure high thermal performance for all homes (many of which were expansively glazed) across the estate in this southern climate.

Paul will also direct attendees to 27 practical guides and infosheets prepared to support implementation of project initiatives. These are circulating widely, also beyond the estate, as free knowledge for the commons.