A high performing sustainable design is unfortunately only half the story. To get a sustainable house performing as designed, on the ground, takes a knowledgeable building team, who are experienced and committed to the environmental & performance objectives. Positive Footprints have a dedicated team of carpenters, and experienced trades well versed in our environmental systems, materials and expectations, to make sure your dream home is quality built, to perform as designed. Because we Design your home, and Build your home, we can make sure it works.
Getting insulation right is critical. According to the CSIRO, if you have 5% of holes in your insulation, its value goes down by 50%. This will turn an 8 star house into a 2 star house. It is an unfortunate fact that most homes in Australia fail to perform to their rating due to poor installation of insulation. During the build our team our acutely aware of the thermal integrity of the building skin, and take the time and effort required to plug, caulk and tape gaps any cracks, and seal penetrations throughout the structure, to make sure the insulation installed has a chance to perform as it should.
What good is a high performing home, if it causes extensive damage to the environment more broadly from the materials it is made of? Over the years we have trialled many different materials, and sorted through the green, from the greenwash, and the cost effective, from those that just aren't worth the benefit. We now have a comprehensive list of environmentally preferable materials that we use on all our projects, from the recycled steel in our concrete slabs, to the low offgassing glues and binders in the cabinetry.
Internally we focus on materials that enable good air quality internally, choosing zero/low VOC paints and binders, and EO cabinetry & trims. Externally we prioritise materials with lower embodied energy, lower pollution generation, recycled content and recyclability. For timber we choose plantation sources, bamboo, recycled timber, or FSC 3rd party certified hardwoods, rather than forest timbers that lead to further habitat loss. This allows our homes to tread more lightly and, by our ongoing purchases, helps to influence the market towards greener ends.
We now also use a thermal imaging camera to inspect our homes, and see where any weak points may be. This allows us to 'see' potential points of thermal bridging and thin insulation, and fix them as we go. The insights gained also informs our ongoing practice, so that each build is tighter than the one before.
Unlike most builders who would shudder at the thought of a blower door test, we are confident of the 'tightness' of our buildings, and offer blower door tests as an option at the end of our builds, for owners who would like peace of mind.