Did anyone opt for or thinking of opting for any sustainable improvements to their TA homes? Solar power, rainwater recycling or others? Seeking inspiration for a sustainable home! Thank you!
We are building with TA (approaching contract stage). We are making a few upgrades to make it a sustainable home - not only because we want to, but because we are utilising the new Bank Australia loans / finance for sustainable homes (extra discounts off interest rates). It's been a little bit of a challenge with TA but we're getting there. We have a rear facing north which also makes things easy. We would have loved to have gone for Passive House but we just couldn't make the budget and choice of builder work.
TA are providing the following upgrades for us:
- R6.0 insulation and sarking in ceiling
- R3.5 insulation between floors
- R2.5 insulation external walls and selected internal walls
- solar pre-wire: the cost of solar / battery with TA was really really expensive so we are doing this after handover (6.6kw solar, option for a battery although unlikely based on current usage and cost)
- Double glazing of the corner stacker door and laundry door (not standard)
- Heat pump hot water (which will eventually be connected to the solar) in lieu of gas boosted solar hot water.
Things that we considered but couldn't quite make work for various reasons:
- FSC certified flooring (this is an option of the Made by Storey product but it's just quite expensive)
- Tesla battery
- Rainwater tank - almost $6k for a 3000L tank plumbed to the toilets is hard to justify if it's not a large(r) family. We'll put a rainwater tank for irrigation post handover.
- Changing the windows from awning windows
- Heat recovery ventilator (hard to justify with 7 stars)
We're anticipating to have a gas free home with approx. a 7 - 7.2 star energy rating. Like I mentioned, we wanted to go further, but we're happy with this given the low additional cost.
Feel free to reach out if you want any further info on this.
Hi Wellbuild thanks for sharing this and looks very good list. I am also thinking along the same lines with regards to hot water system. Do you remember how much you paid for the upgrade to Heat Pump hot water system ? Also does removing the solar gas water heater reduced your star ratings by any chance for the build ? Thanks
The additional cost for the heat pump hw ranges from $400 - $850 depending on the make/model. The other thing to keep in mind is that if that is the only gas you have (i.e. induction cooktop, no fireplace) you won't need the builder to organise a gas connection. This saved us (credited) approx $2k.
The choice of hot water system has no impact on your energy star rating (NatHERS rating) of your home. The rating takes into account site orientation, air leakage, windows / glazing, insulation, slab, and passive design principles only. Any appliances are not factored into the star rating - it's fundamentally about building fabric.