New Home Building Trend
Australia is long known to have some of the strictest residential building codes and standards in the world, which require all new building materials to be thoroughly tested. It’s good for the people as safety, reliability and durability are of utmost importance to consumers.
In recent years, ongoing research and development have seen building product manufacturers release some new materials that are more efficiently, better looking and are easier to install.
The following are some highlights of some of the critical areas of change:
Most of Australians would agree that brick is one of the oldest building materials which has gone through a style revolution in recent years. There are now more choices than ever. They are available in glazed or matt texture, and the colour options have increased impressively. They are not limited to browns, reds and creams; instead you could find blue, black, green, and even pink if that is your preference. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. The new approach is architect or designer-driven which has seen brick enjoy a resurgence in popularity.
Similar to bricks, colour also sits at the heart of new releases in the roofing realm. Colorbond has recently added a new matt finish to its line of roofing materials. This has contributed to various possibilities to the latest building design trends. This new matt-paint technology was developed to offer builders roofing steel in neutral hues with a zinc-like finish. It has been tested over a decade, perfected to meet Australian standards and offer impressive solar reflectance and anti-corrosive qualities.
If traditional roof tiles are your preference, you could find a huge collection of colour to choose from. Another exciting development in tiles is their solar capabilities. Recently, a manufacturer has even launched an integrated photovoltaic tile that sits flat within the roofline.
Building products manufacturer CSR reports that, between 2004 and 2014, the use of lightweight building materials in Australian homes rose from 15 per cent to 35 per cent. In lightweight construction, timber or steel framing provides structural support for the home. Non-structural cladding – made from lightweight building materials, such as Hebel PowerPanels is then attached to the framework.
Various exterior cladding products are gaining much popularity in recent years. Weatherboards today are far more durable and better looking than before. James Hardie’s Scyon range, for example, has fibre-cement weatherboards in four classic profiles to give your home deep shadow lines and a contemporary look. There’s no timber involved, so they’re low maintenance, take paint well and are resistant to termites, moisture, rot and fire.
WINDOWS AND GLASS
In Australia, our love affair with big windows continues, with designers and architects using glass in ever-larger spans. However, it must be noted that any glass used in Australian homes need to be able to block out extreme temperatures, noise and intruders. Nowadays, various high-performance glasses are up to the task, meeting the required energy rating requirements while still allowing for larger window-to-wall ratios.
As an illustration, a typical, adequately insulated home with regular glass can lose up to 40 per cent of heat through its windows in winter and allows up to 87 per cent of solar heat gain in summer. While an entry-level energy-efficient glass can improve insulation by about a third, a higher-performing glass can more than double this improvement.