From Build Blog

Here comes the SUPERHOME movement

The Fifth Estate_Willow Aliento | 16 July 2015

DSC_0008There are currently two demonstration homes being developed by Burnett in Christchurch’s Church Square that he has designed to 10 Star HomeStar standards. The homes are due for completion at the end of this month, and one was recently formally awarded 10 Star HomeStar Design certification by the NZ Green Building Council.

The SUPERHOME movement has so far gained support from the central government, Christchurch City Council, and a number of builders, developers, designers, architects, investors and materials manufacturers. An initial meeting hosted by the council drew over 120 people, and Burnett says some of them went away with ideas that have resulted in positive changes to projects that were already under construction.

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Frame Saver

Eco-friendly Earthquake Resistant Wall Framing
“Frame Saver” has been created by Winstone Wallboards and has multiple benefits. Walls are essentially seismically stronger more thermally efficient and also cheaper due to a significant reduction in the amount of timber used.

It is not often that improvements are actually cheaper than the status quo. That’s what is called a winner.

Replacing triple or stud-block-stud arrangements at wall junctions with ‘frame saver’ metal angles, means less timber is used increasing the thermal efficiency of the external envelope and increasing seismic resilience by securely locking plasterboard corners to a single metal angle. This results in better energy efficiency through more insulation and less thermal bridging due to less timber.

Further cost savings are achieved as only one instead of two Handibrac bottom plate anchors are required at corners. Another benefit is reduced risk of quality of finish imperfections as many mechanical fasteners into timber have been removed. Also included are new wall to ceiling details with some similar benefits. There is no impact a relation to NZS3604 or building code compliance as the standard is silent on junction details and the Frame Saver details provide better than code performance.

frame saver- copy - CopyFollowing the Canterbury Earthquakes all external framing in Bob Burnett Architecture houses has been a minimum of 140mm wide with a RAB (Rigid Air Barrier) instead of the normal 90mm wide with building wrap. (Internal walls remain 90mm thick).

This adds only a surprisingly little extra cost to the build and provides multiple benefits. Additional Earthquake and windload resistance is one benefit with another obvious benefit of the larger frame cavity being the ability to install thicker insulation, providing a better thermal performance meaning a warmer more energy efficient home is achieved. Wall insulation is up to R4.0 with fibreglass and R3.2 with Wool. The RAB makes the house more air tight and hence insulation works better.

Dwangs can be removed completely or if dwangs are desired for whatever reason they can be installed vertically on the inside face allowing continuous insulation without thermal bridging. In either case, another benefit is there is no drilling of holes required to run plumbing, electrical or other services.

More recently BBA begun using LVL (laminated veneer lumber) for 140 frames which is both stronger and more sustainable than traditional solid timber. Waste is minimised as all of the tree is used due to LVL being made from laminated log peelings and finger jointing of timber.

All these innovations add up to achieved bracing that is at least double code requirements and in some cases up to 3 to 4 times code. The result is greatly improved earthquake resilience providing safety, security and peace of mind, combined with superior warmth and energy efficiency and a healthy low running cost home that is environmentally sound.

Success Story 7 Star Longhurst Terrace

Homestar_longhurst terrace

Homestar _ April 2014

“People are starting to realise they can get something much better than the average, standard Kiwi home without it costing a lot more. The obvious compelling benefit of a sunny, warm, dry, more healthy and comfortable energy-efficient home is now being seen as more attainable. Particularly when on-going cost savings that can help pay off the mortgage faster are considered, it makes complete sense ”

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