Solar PV and hot water, zero emissions: Stockland's new 8-star energy rated house

Australian property group Stockland has unveiled its 8-star energy rated zero emissions house at the company’s Willowdale community development in Sydney’s west.
Pictured below, the house, which comes with a 5kW rooftop solar system and solar hot water, falls just two stars shy of being a 10-star “passive house,” according to the federal government administered National House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-11-26-46-am
Launched on Friday morning in Leppington, the house also features a 3000 litre rainwater harvesting system; LED lighting; energy efficient glazing; water saving taps, showerheads, toilets, and basins; and eco-crete slabs with special insulating pods that store thermal mass.
A “smart air exchange system” is also built in, which works by removing the heat build-up from inside walls and floors during the day and reduces wasted energy consumption if used in conjunction with an air conditioning system.
The NatHERS rating system scores homes on a scale from 1 to 10. Essentially, as the website says, the more stars the home has, the less heating or cooling is required to keep it comfortable.
Stockland’s achievement of an eight-star NatHERS rating for the house is not insignificant, with most “well designed” homes currently rating 6 or 7 stars on the scale. The broader Willowdale community has been awarded a 6 star GBCA rating.
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In 2012, we reported that fellow Australian property developer Mirvac had designed and built a “concept” home that was 9.2-star rated, and the company last year unveiled a new luxury residential development for Perth’s Claremont on the Park precinct, whose dwellings were 7-star rated.
But as Stockland Residential CEO Andrew Whitson has pointed out, the Willowdale house is “not a concept house.”
“All ‘eco’ features, fittings and inclusions are commercially available right now. For example, for a medium-sized home, installing solar panels will cost around $7,000 upfront. On a yearly basis, solar will save that same house between $1,000 and $2000 in energy costs, meaning they will recoup their investment within five to seven years and reaping ongoing cost savings for
many years after that.”
“We’re making our communities greener, both in a physical sense with more green, open, public spaces, parks, playgrounds, walking trails and cycleways; and showing customers how they can save money over a lifetime through more energy-efficient home design and construction,” Whtison said.
Romilly Madew, CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia has also praised Stockdale for its leadership, and for achieving “world’s best practice” for its Willowdale masterplan.
“Now that Australia has signed the Paris Accord on climate change, sustainability is the only way forward for residential development,” Madew said in a statement. “The property industry has an important role to play as we look to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
“The GBCA will be doing more to promote the Green Star – Communities rating system among new home buyers as a mark of quality and we commend Stockland on its leadership as an agent of change within the property industry.”
So far, Stockland has sold more than 1,000 residential lots at Willowdale, which will eventually comprise around 3,300 homes and a shopping centre. Stockland has also made provision in the masterplan for 25 hectares of parks and playgrounds and the inclusion of a new state primary school.

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