Eco Block completed another successful build using Eco Block ICF in Northern NSW.
We are very happy with the results, and so are our customers!
Our high-quality, eco-friendly building material continues to impress in this new build with strong, durable walls and excellent insulation throughout.
Let’s take a look at what made this build so successful, the challenges we faced and why people are choosing Eco Block as their preferred building material.
Building specifics: What influenced the Eco Friendly House Design
The location of the home in Drake in Northern NSW (outside of Lismore) influenced the design of this home.
Being one of the hardest hit towns in the 2020 bushfires meant that material choice was a top priority for homeowner, Mick.
This incredible north facing new home was cut into the side of a hill with earth mounded to the roofline on 3 sides.
The total footprint of the building measures 473m2 including the verandah. Plus, there are two 3 x 3m sheds and solar.
The design of the home was based on functionality and eco-friendly criteria about to regulate the property temperature, using the sun to heat and cool the interior.
Other factors influencing the design were
- Aspect (orientation towards the sun)
- Thermal Mass
Eco Friendly Home Builders: Insulation and Construction
To achieve the desired eco credentials, the Eco Block ICF (Insulated Concrete Formwork) was used.
The walls were constructed from ECO Block ICF Formwork providing excellent insulation on the inside and outside of the walls. Steel reinforced concrete (between 200 and 300mm thick) then fills the core of the blocks.
Further insulation was used in the ceiling and blinds to further protect the home from the elements.
Building Eco Friendly House: Temperature Control
With this home, temperature control was crucial due to being situated in a high-risk fire area.
Let’s look at the main temperature control challenges we encountered in this property and how they were addressed.
Problem: Heat and airflow
Solution: We used black colourbond steel to absorb the heat from the roof. As the heat in the ceiling rose, it is exhausted through a façade acting as a flu.
This air was then replaced with air drawn through vents at the highest points of the ceiling and ultimately extracted warm air from inside the building.
The air is then replaced by air drawn into a chamber and goes through a series of vents through the walls and underground.
Outcome: This process means the hotter the day, the more air-flow.
Warming the house in winter
On the flipside, here’s how the house design and materials help provide an energy efficient heating solution…
Problem: Cold house in winter
Solution: A combination of concrete slabs, mudbricks, shutterers, blinds and even stoves were used to combat this issue.
Outcome: Heat is created and prevented from escaping
The house faced several other challenges such as wiring in the plenum chamber, drainage and water. These were also resolved using eco-friendly solutions.
Home safety and durability were priorities with this build.
It is purposefully designed to have disability access and be user-friendly for all ages.
The house was built to withstand bushfires and ember attacks due to the recent bushfires in the area.
Electricity comes from off-grid solar and building costs were kept down by re-using materials as much as possible.
“Dear Tony, I am very pleased to provide this testimonial for Eco-Block.
Your product was chosen over other ICF’s due to its structural integrity, bracing & levelling system and moulded plastic ribs to attach cladding & linings etc. Also the cost of block transport is minimised as they come unassembled, taking up far less room on a truck.
As an inexperienced owner / builder in my 60’s, I found Eco-Blocks a very easy & simple building system to work with. The blocks are very forgiving of mistakes, and can be easily joined again with expanding foam if cut too short.
We bought a property in Northern NSW in a bushfire zone with a BAL 40 rating, so needed to design a building that could withstand a catastrophic event. With insurance premiums unaffordable, the risk had to be minimised.
The building is different from traditional homes as it is built into an excavation on the side of a north facing hill. The house was built in 2 stages with the first stage being sub-terranum up to roof level. The unexposed walls beneath the ground had to withstand pressures of granite rocks stacked against it and be impervious to moisture. Once the roof and insulated ceiling was installed, the thermal comfort became very noticeable throughout the following seasons even though the entire north wall had still not been built. This provided a very comfortable work area for the second stage to begin.
The building had to be air tight and insulated to be efficient in controlling the internal temperature throughout the year, as the temperatures fluctuate from below zero to above 40 degrees celsius. Eco-Block achieved this with a solid concrete core insulated with polystyrene.
This is an incredible product that reduces the environmental impact by extending the life expectancy of a traditionally built house while still retaining a traditional look if required.
The level of advice and support from both Frank (initially) and later from Tony for the second stage was professional and reliable. They both stayed in contact throughout the construction of the walls and were easily contactable when sought (unlike so many other businesses these days).
One happy customer,
Mick & Grace
Eco Friendly Home Construction Northern NSW – Case Study
This blog looked at another successful build by Eco Block demonstrating the versatility, reliability and efficiency of our ICF product.
It also looked at the challenges we faced and why people are choosing Eco Block as their preferred building material.
Eco Block Pty Ltd is the number one provider of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) in Australia Working closer with homeowners, builders and architects we aspire to deliver the best living environment for you and your family, or employees.
Whether you are building a home, designing architecture or constructing a commercial building, our knowledgeable Eco Block team will be there to help and guide you throughout the process. Plus, we have product specs and design and building manuals available because we want to ensure you use the ICF building blocks correctly and get the best out of them.