BuildHer Collective gets seven stars for sustainability

29 March 2022

A community collaboration residential building project in Fairfield, Melbourne, keeps sustainability front and centre as a priority and is a stunning example of collaborative community effort.

The project, which resulted in two 7-star energy rated homes, was worked on by the ‘BuildHer 8’, made up of BuildHer Collective founders Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon, and six of their DevelopHer masterclass graduates.

BuildHer Collective’s vision for the two houses located next to each other was to create architecturally different, but complementary homes with strong, clean, contemporary lines and a commitment to sustainability.

“BuildHer Collective undertook this project to demonstrate that as women, we have the power to create so much value by coming together to develop property in a joint venture,” says Rebeka Morgan, “But first and foremost, we wanted to create value for the future homeowners by building beautiful sustainable homes, and along the way have a pile of fun and make a profit.”

BuildHer Collective took a three-pronged approach to delivering sustainability features throughout the 7-star energy rated homes.

“We did this by making sure the build was energy efficient from a design perspective, looking at items such as orientation and window spaces, window shrouds, and cross ventilation,” says Rebeka.  

The team then looked to material selection, increasing insulation, double glazing, and choosing the right combination of claddings to ensure there were efficiencies throughout.

“Finally, we looked to low or zero carbon principles such as using recycled bricks, not connecting gas to the site and providing fantastic solar panels and Tesla Powerwalls,” says Rebeka.

Hardie Fine Texture Cladding has been used on the first floor of the North house. The look contrasts against the other materials and provides a clean and minimalist look. Made from pre-textured, pre-sealed fibre cement, Hardie Fine Texture Cladding is built tough for Australian conditions but also offers unlimited design possibilities.

Ready to paint and very paint-friendly, the cladding’s render texture diffuses light so colours appear matte, making the cladding perfect for dream home designs which don’t seek overly decorative styles.

Rebeka was very happy with the Hardie Fine Texture Cladding saying it delivered an effortless rendered look which paired well with the painted brick cladding. It was also very easy to install. It took two workers just a few days to install all the sheets and they were able to easily lift them up to the second storey.

“The trades found the product easy to install which was a lifesaver! With so many delays due to Covid-19 lockdowns, using Hardie Fine Texture Cladding didn’t delay the process and our timelines weren’t blown out,” says Rebeka.

With no renderers, bricklayers, or specific render trades required, the cladding saves money and provides a modern, contemporary look with clean lines. Being pre-primed the paint application was also quick which made the cladding easy to work with, notes Rebeka.

Hardie Fine Texture Cladding helped BuildHer Collective to deliver a modern design with sustainability features throughout.

Rebeka adds: “Fairfield is in the trendy inner north of Melbourne, where new homes and extensions are sophisticated yet edgy, and tend to be full of character and personality, so the Hardie Fine Texture Cladding was great for helping us deliver that clean, fresh and contemporary look, with an abundance of class. The use of recycled brick in the North House needed to be softened and balanced out and we did that with this great product.”

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