Zero Emission House: A First for Australia?

"The goal is a home that does not release any CO2, or other greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere as a result of producing or consuming energy on the entire site," said Dr Greg Foliente, project leader for the CSIRO's Zero Emission House (ZEH) project. [Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia's national science agency.] The ZEH house is to be built near Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, and is being touted as the first of its kind in Australia.

Due for completion towards the end of 2009 the Zero Emission House is expected to use up to 70% less energy than a traditional home of similar size. The media release we saw talks about innovative materials and leading-edge energy-saving technologies, but is a bit short on detail. So we dug around a little.We understand from a submission (PDF) to the national Garnaut Climate Change Review on the climate changes impacts to Australia, the CSIRO want the project to also provide materials for the publication of a Guide for Low Carbon Housing, that might stand as as a possible supplement document to the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

And the house will be built by Victoria's largest home builder (and seemingly Australia's too). We read that the Henley Property Group currently offer sixe-star energy rated homes across their range when the mandatory requirement is currently only for five star, and that they are into corporate philanthropy, having given away over $14 million dollars to local and overseas charities.

The demonstration home, will be lived in for a year and its results monitored to see if it lives up to expectations. The site of the ZEH will be at Delfin Lend Lease Laurimar community estate 30km north of Melbourne. They have a few other sustainability projects already going on there, like a grey and black water recycled program designed to reduced household water consumption by 50%.

Another Victorian project that also has the same aims of zero emission housing is Cape Paterson EcoVillage, but lacking the clout of corporations like Lend Lease, it hasn't yet left the drawing board.

::CSIRO Zero Emission House, via EcoMedia.

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