Developer SekisuiHouse has hired international and local consulting firms to research the creation of a community of net-zero-energy homes in Australia, commissioned by the Japanese government's New Energy & Industrial Technology Development Organisation.
Sekisui general manager CraigD'Costa said: "An investigation into renewable-energy production and storage is at the core of this research, including embedded electrical network, home-to-home energy sharing, geothermal augmented airconditioning, insulation and glazing advancements, lithium-ion batteries, solar and building-integrated photovoltaics."
Sekisui has built 35,000+ net-zero homes in Japan and has been at the forefront of research and development since 2008.
Later this year, Sekisui will open its first net-zero home in Australia, known as Shinka House. Shinka, Japanese for evolution, is based on the idea that aesthetic, functional homes can provide health and wellbeing benefits and be sustainable.
A contributor to Sekisui's research is RobertSaunders, national manager at Calibre Building Services & Renewables. He said: "Australia's renewable-energy target is a federal-government policy designed to ensure at least 33,000 gigawatt-hours of Australia's electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. Sekisui is embracing this through integrated sustainable design by bringing renewable technologies to housing and urban development."
Another contributor, ScottClarkson, founder of Clarkson Consulting Services, said: "Australia's home-building is 20 years behind Japan, North America and Europe, including warmer regions Spain, Portugal, Miami and California."
The building of ShinkaHouse, at TheHermitage at GledswoodHills, is under way and is assessed to achieve a thermal comfort rating over 8 stars, two more than the national Australian standard for new homes.
"Shinka House uses the blueprint of our Shawood homes, now at The Hermitage. We've completed more than 250 Shawood homes since 2012. Sekisui has homes available from $645,000, most exceeding the national rating standard."
- Sekisui House: sekisuihouse.com.au.