Blog

Uncategorised

Your safety. Our jobs. – A CURRENT AFFAIR

Calm Living Homes has taken the lead in exposing the epidemic of unlicensed trades people who are putting your home and the safety of your family at risk.

It’s easy to get tempted by a quote that seems very cheap but if something is too cheap to be true it probably isn’t. Genuine tradespeople see the handiwork of fake tradies all the time, because they get called in to pick up the pieces. Shoddy work that looks terrible and installations that don’t function properly or are outright dangerous. Sometimes the problem is not obvious until something goes wrong and often the homeowner is none the wiser.

Andre Engelmayer from Calm Living Homes estimates that “20 – 25% of all work is performed outside the licence system”. One of the side effects of this, says Anton, is that legitimate “builders are going broke because they are under pricing jobs to keep their own trades busy”.

If you inherit a home with poorly done work you can have difficulty obtaining compensation even if one of your family is injured as a result of this. The problem is that the sale has taken place and the original owner may not have known anything was wrong. This is why a professional building inspection is an absolute must before you buy. One solution Anton proposes, is that 10% of each legitimate trade invoice be put for a short time into a interest generating government run fund to cover the increased cost of inspections. The tradesperson still gets fully paid, the industry gets cleaned up and the homeowner is protected.

One simple way to protect yourself is to ask to see any tradespersons licence before they begin work and take a photo of it with your phone. The other thing is to simply be suspicious or ask for more detail on any quote that that seems very cheap. In the words of Jane Garret the Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister “If someone’s offering to do it dirt cheap you may well get a dirt poor job…When things go wrong the effects can be absolutely devastating. It’s not just an issue of heartbreak or lost money or your home not looking right, it’s an issue of safety”

 

 

Uncategorised

Green Builder

What is green building? What makes a builder a green builder?

You don’t even have to search online to see that there is an avalanche of information out there on “green building’ and more than a few Melbourne builders who position themselves as a “green builder.”

Other sites of course are selling sustainable building products. Many of these products are great but how can you tell which ones are right for you and what the alternatives are? A green builder is someone that should know all the options and can advise you on the best way to go for your unique situation.

There is a lot more to being a green builder than just putting in more insulation, having solar hot water and a water tank. The decision to use a green builder can save you both money and mistakes as there are a lot of choices that need to be evaluated on their effectiveness and value and it helps to have real expert advice.

 

Here is a list of some of the things that you might expect a green builder to talk to you about your home:

 

Mechanical ventilation. For an asthma friendly and allergy friendly home

as well as energy savings.

Mechanical air ventilation is widely used in Europe and means you can filter out all outside contaminates so you are breathing fresh air 24/7. Things like pollen and pollutants such as carbon particulates (from fires and diesel smoke for example) are filtered out using a carbon filter. The temperature from the stale air is converted into the new internal fresh air using 92 % efficient heat exchange units which can also heat and cool air with the same unit if needed removing the need for extra temperature control in home. This mechanical ventilation uses very low wattage power and can be easily powered direct from solar panels so the ongoing cost is negligible.

 

Landscape and garden can play a big role

 In green building the house works hand in hand with the landscaping to make your home more comfortable, more beautiful and cheaper to run. The great advantage is that the right landscaping and plant choices can deliver a whole range of benefits and produce these long term at no or minimal cost.

  • Roof gardens Insulate from cold during winter and heat in summer
  • Creation of microclimates for special plants i.e. to enable those that require sun or heat to be grown in colder climates.
  • Once established, many native plants need minimal or no, irrigation beyond normal rainfall.
  • Gardens watered with grey water or rainwater.
  • Reduce weeds.
  • Low in maintenance.
  • Reduce reflective heat into home
  • Act as wind breaks.
  • Natural habitat for fauna such as birds & insects
  • They can either be highly productive or decorative examples might be using a ground cover instead of lawn that requires a lot of maintenance, fertiliser and water, or some fruit trees in-between native shrubs.
  • Native plants have developed their own defences against many pests and diseases. Since most pesticides kill indiscriminately, beneficial insects become secondary targets in the fight against pests. Reducing or eliminating pesticide use lets natural pest control take over and keeps garden toxins out of our creeks and watersheds.
  • Using water as a feature to aid in fire protection, water plants, frogs, insect & animals water source.
  • Use of fire retardant tree & grasses species as part of your fire plan
  • Incorporating zones of native bush for protection of biological diversity.
  • Edible gardens to supplement or even replace) parts of your supermarket shopping
  • Permanent natural fences for security and aesthetic appeal or animal control
  • Use of Permaculture principles such as companion planting to reduce garden maintenance, plant diseases and watering.

 

Insulation. Things you need to know. 

While a green builder should know how to lift an existing conventional house to the best insulation standards as part of a green renovation. In a new home things like the design of the house and the choice of wall structure and ventilation are the biggest factors in getting the best result. In other words there is more to this than just going for the highest rated fibreglass batts.

 

  • Concrete with exterior insulation called: Insulated concrete forms (CIF). These offer the ultimate in insulation performance, fire proofing, soundproofing, long term durability and unmatched strength.
  • High thermal mass walls such as mud brick or rammed earth. Old school but low embedded energy and very effective when combined with well designed & effective exterior insulation strategies.
  • Reverse brick veneer. Having the bricks on the inside and insulated from external charging from the outside holds heat in winter and cool in summer.
  • Recycled low thermal bridge.

 

Low or no VOC’s or other toxic compounds in your home

VOC’s are Volatile Organic Compounds they are poisonous chemicals that can become a gas at typical room temperatures and seep from adhesives used in veneers, ply beams, trusses, furniture, paints, floor board coatings such as two pack and also mould spores from wet areas need to be considered. They include chemicals like formaldehyde a known carcinogen and can trigger asthma for example. The longer term effect of these entering our skin & breathing them in is not fully known but they have been linked to sick building syndrome. Surely the simple question is “Why would you have your family breathing chemicals & toxins?

These compounds are released more as temperatures rise so if you do not have fresh air coming into your house your ducted heating & cooling return air is just circulating these poisons around and around for you to breathe.

A knowledgeable green builder can advise you ways to avoid these issues

Solutions include:

  • Minimal use of veneers.
  • Natural timber and stone finishes rather than veneers
  • Low or no VOC paints & coatings
  • Constant air movement through cross breezing
  • Special boards used in cabinetry.
  • Using internal gardens
  • Using special high performance vapour check membranes to move internal due point & remove mould from developing
  • Design effective mechanical air systems

 

Grey water treatment systems

Grey water is water that comes from your laundry & bathrooms as distinct from Blackwater, which is sewage.

Because this water contains some pollutants and nutrients you can’t just pipe it direct on to your garden long term. Your green builder can advise you on the best system to deal with this for your needs and home size.

 

Rainwater harvesting

Using rainwater for toilet flushing, garden watering and your laundry can reduce your total water usage by as much as 40%.

The Davey Rain bank system, for example will automatically prioritise tank water while ever there is water in the tank and switch you seamlessly over to mains when the tank is low.

There are also systems that allow you to use rainwater for the whole of your house. As a green builder we are experienced in the recommendation and installation of rainwater harvesting systems.

 

Passive heating and cooling to save (or even eliminate) energy bills 

Delivering a total result on this is always a matter of the right design for your site and many factors. While you may or may not have an architect an experienced green builder who has seen many houses work in real life can be a help in achieving the best outcome

Essentially all this means is that your house retains a steady comfortable temperature regardless of the season. In a 10 star house you generally have no need to any additional heating and cooling.

This means using the sun to heat the house and design to retain that heat in winter. In summer a passively cooled house uses the cool ambient temperature of the earth to

 

  • The way the house is sited.
  • Correct use of windows and eaves
  • Building materials insulated from the outside that tend to retail ambient temperature especially in our constant changing Australian climate.
  • Room size and design permitting the use of manageable temperature zones
  • Taking advantage of micro climates related to level on the slope etc.
  • Heated primarily by the sun, but unlike solar-powered houses, which use solar panels to convert sunlight to electricity, passive designed houses capture the sun’s energy in the form of heat, using the design and construction of the home itself to eliminate the need for afuel based or other conventional heat source
  • Removing cold drafts, temperature variations from room to room, and, best of all, virtually no heating or cooling bills. It might sound too good to be true, these conditions are expected & delivered for people who live in passive designed homes.
  • Design home to be an extremely energy-efficient in which a comfortable interior climate can be maintained without active heating and cooling systems.
  • A passive designed house takes the idea a few steps further, adding superior insulation, airtight construction, and energy-efficient windows and carefully controlled mechanical ventilation, cross breeze ventilation as essential components incorporated into the home’s construction.

 

Especially if you don’t have an architect an experienced green builder who has seen many houses work in real life can be a big help in achieving the best outcome

 

Green home design

Green home design combines every factor we have listed above. There is no single silver bullet that makes a green home successful. Rather it is a balance of many, many factors that your green builder should be able to guide you on. You can have a large and luxurious house or a very small house and both can be significantly green. If your budget is limited a green builder should also be able to advise you on design principles which will allow you to reduce the overall size of your home without compromising on room size, aesthetics or quality of finishes. The right sustainable design can still look roomy even though its overall size is less than might be expected.

For more information or to talk about your project call Anton Engelmayer on 0418 177 380

Uncategorised

We can help you choose the right green home insulation

There is more to green home insulation than meets the eye.

In a new home things like the design of the house and the choice of wall structure and ventilation are the biggest factors in getting the best result. In other words there is more to this than just going for the highest rated fibreglass batts.

Here are some of the options:

  • Concrete with exterior insulation called: Insulated concrete forms (CIF). These offer the ultimate in insulation performance, fire proofing, soundproofing, long term durability and unmatched strength.
  • High thermal mass walls such as mud brick or rammed earth. Old school but low embedded energy and very effective when combined with well designed & effective exterior insulation strategies.
  • Reverse brick veneer. Having the bricks on the inside and insulated from external charging from the outside holds heat in winter and cool in summer.
  • Timber. Recycled low thermal bridge.

Whether you are  renovating your home or building a new one we can help you choose the right green home insulation.

 

Uncategorised

What makes a green builder?

What is green building? What makes a builder a green builder?

You don’t even have to search online to see that there is an avalanche of information out there on “green building’ and more than a few Melbourne builders who position themselves as a “green builder.”

Other sites, of course, are selling sustainable building products. Many of these products are great but how can you tell which ones are right for you and what the alternatives are? A green builder is someone that should know all the options and can advise you on the best way to go for your unique situation.

Great green building – ending up with a beautiful home that is made for you – AND is sustainable is not a simple task. There is a lot more variables to it than just putting in more insulation, having solar hot water and a water tank if you want the best result. The decision to use a green builder is not unaffordable but it does mean there are a lot of choices that need to be evaluated in terms of their effectiveness and value and it helps to have real expert advice.

Anyway here is a small list of some of the things that you might expect a green builder to consider and some of the ways they might consider them in terms of your needs.

  • Green home design principles
  • Understanding of home siting and microclimates etc.
  • Green building materials and the best cost for value options
  • Integration of garden and surrounds with your home design for better liveability and reduction in environmental footprint
  • Insulation options
  • Low or no VOC’s or other toxic compounds in your home
  • Grey water treatment
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Passive heating and cooling

What is Green home design?

 Green home design combines every factor we have listed above.

There is no single silver bullet that makes a green home successful. Rather it is a balance of many, many factors that your green builder should be able to guide you on. You can have a large and luxurious house or a very small house and both can be significantly green. If your budget is limited a green builder should also be able to advise you on design principles which will allow you to reduce the overall size of your home without compromising on room size, aesthetics or quality of finishes. The right sustainable design can still look roomy even though its overall size is less than might be expected.

 

Uncategorised

Green garden design as part of a green home

A green garden design is great way to add efficiency – and pleasure, to your green home.

In green building the house works hand in hand with the landscaping to make your home more comfortable, more beautiful and cheaper to run. The great advantage is that the right landscaping and plant choices can deliver a whole range of benefits and produce these long term at no or minimal cost.

  • Roof gardens Insulate from cold during winter and heat in summer
  • Creation of microclimates for special plants i.e. to enable those that require sun or heat to be grown in colder climates.
  • Once established, many native plants need minimal irrigation beyond normal rainfall.
  • Gardens watered with grey water or rainwater.
  • Garden design and plant selection to reduce weeds.
  • Green garden design to reduce maintenance.
  • Reduction of reflective heat into home
  • Reduction in wind and wind swirl
  • Providing natural habitat for fauna such as birds & insects
  • Green gardens can either be highly productive or decorative examples might be using a ground cover instead of lawn that requires a lot of maintenance, fertilizer and water, or some fruit trees in-between native shrubs.
  • Native plants have developed their own defences against many pests and diseases. Since most pesticides kill indiscriminately, beneficial insects become secondary targets in the fight against pests. Reducing or eliminating pesticide use lets natural pest control take over and keeps garden toxins out of our creeks and watersheds.
  • Water features can be used to aid in fire protection, water plants, frogs, insect & animals water source.
  • Use of fire retardant tree & grasses species as part of your fire plan
  • Incorporating zones of native bush for protection of biological diversity.
  • Edible gardens to supplement (or even replace) parts of your supermarket shopping
  • Permanent natural fences for security and aesthetic appeal or animal control
  • Use of Permaculture principles such as companion planting to reduce garden maintenance, plant diseases and watering.

As you can see the list of what a green garden can do for your green home is long. We can help you with planning the big picture of this for your home and lifestyle.

We look forward to hearing from you. If you would like to find out more or have any questions contact Anton Engelmayer on 0418 177 380 or email at [email protected]

 

Uncategorised

Property inspections for building and efficiency

Now you can check building quality and have the best comfort and energy efficiency in your home

 

There are many different types of property inspections out there. Working your way through the minefield of which report to get for what and by who can be confusing. There is so much more you can learn from a property inspection, not just what are the major defects and how do I fix them. How about, “If I renovate this property how can it make it work as efficiently as possible so the property is more comfortable and costs less to run?” or “ What type of heating would be best to include here?” , or “How can I keep this part of the home cool?”.   Unlike many property inspections an Efficient Property Inspections Report combines the building structure, resource efficiency and common sense financial guidance on the potential of a home, into one report.

Wouldn’t it be useful to know about any building issues AND how to optimise efficiency!

This is exactly what we do through our Efficient Property Inspection Service.

The Efficient Property Inspection Service combines the know how of a highly reputable green builder – Anton Engelmayer from Calm Living Homes, and sustainability consultant Danielle King from Green Moves. This means you get a comprehensive outline of issues from both a building quality and energy efficiency perspective. Because we can also help you understand the costs and all other implications of the options outlined our report is very actionable and really helps you make the best decisions. This is critical if say, you are trying to assess whether you would be better renovating your existing home or buying a new home.

This service is for those who have or are looking at a property and …

  • Want to know what the options are and what is feasible to do with a current property
  • Are considering a renovation project or new building project
  • Want to know about any issues a property may have in terms of workmanship, design, finish etc
  • Want to know what the potential of a property might be in terms of renovation and resource efficiency.

The Efficient Property Inspection Report will identify…

  • Any major issues or defects with the property (and what to do about it),
  • Any potential maintenance issues and recommendations on solutions,
  • High level estimates for any remedial actions required and the trade to provide it,
  • Ideas for renovation potential and design of the property (or review your plans and comment),
  • Opportunities to maximise the energy and water efficiencies of the property,
  • Comment on features that offer best ‘value for money’,
  • A prioritised list of actions or considerations,
  • Opportunities to maximise the comfort of the property and enhance future value.

The Service …

  • Takes a holistic look at the property including structural, environmental, surroundings and other considerations to maximise the potential and minimise the costs,
  • Is provided by a registered builder and accredited sustainability consultant,
  • Is a fixed price (based on house size) and covers site visit, creation of the report and any post report queries,
  • Provides an easy to read inspection report with prioritised actions (delivered via email),
  • Is fully insured for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity.

If you would like one of us to manage or even be the builder for your renovation project, we can do that too!

 For more information contact Anton Engelmayer on 0418 177 380 or [email protected] 

 

Uncategorised

Asthma friendly and allergy friendly homes

A green home can be an asthma friendly home and an allergy friendly home

Mechanical air ventilation as used in Europe (and increasingly here) not only makes your home more liveable but can also make it more asthma friendly and allergy friendly.

Mechanical ventilation (solar powered) now means you can filter out all outside contaminants so you are breathing fresh air 24/7 from the outside. This includes allergens and pollutants  such as pollen and particulates from fires and diesel fumes for example.

These are filtered out using a carbon filter and the temperature from the stale air is converted into the new internal fresh air using 92 % efficient heat exchange units which can  also heat and cool air with the same unit if needed removing the need for extra temperature control in home.

This mechanical ventilation uses very low wattage power and can be easily powered direct from solar panels so the ongoing cost is negligible.

So if you suffer from asthma, hay fever or other general allergic conditions that can be triggered by airborne  pollutants we can build you a home that will become a refuge  when you need to escape these.

We look forward to hearing from you. If you would like to find out more or have any questions contact Anton Engelmayer on 0418 177 380 or email at [email protected]

Uncategorised

Some green renovation practices you may not be aware of

If you love the home that you are in but would like to undertake a green renovation we can help. Maybe you want to make it bigger, lighter or more comfortable?. If you would also like to save on water and energy costs we can use the best in green building principles to do that – and lessen your impact on the earth by doing it.

If you have a heritage home a green renovation also doesn’t mean you have to change its appearance that you love and that gives its unique character. Many of the changes we make in a green makeover are under the skin so the only thing you’ll notice is a drop (or the total elimination) of your power bills or your hay fever or asthma.

Just as with a  new green home any green renovation we love working with your ideas and  and  can explain the options and costs so you can set the bar where you are comfortable. That can be from a few improvements that make the biggest difference for their cost  to a green renovation with efficiencies equal or better than a new green building.

Just so you understand a bit more about what can be involved in a green home makeover here are some examples of the sustainable building techniques we use:

Airflow and heat and cooling leaks

Pretty well any standard building, even those built in the last 10 years, has a lot of ways that air can enter it in ways that are not desirable. Older houses, especially heritage homes, often have gaps in flooring or behind architraves where cold air running freely around the buildings foundations can get in. When you try and heat a room like this your heat source causes hot air to rise and exit through gaps in your ceiling such as around light sockets between windows and walls to finally reach he outside via the many gaps in your tile roof. As this hot air rises a convection cycle is set up. As the hot air escapes it sucks more cold air in through the gaps below so most of our heat is going to waste so your heat source has to work that much harder to give you a relatively low level of comfort.

In summer the reverse can happen. Your cooling system creates cold air which being heavier than warm air then leaks out through these gaps and in doing so sucks hot air out of the roof cavity and from the hot top of the roof between the many gaps in the roof tiles or eaves. Once more a convection cycle is set up but this time it is making you hotter not colder and your cooling system has to work harder to over come this.

In a situation like this we find that filling the following areas with Eco foam or other low VOC foam makes a big difference:

  • Floorboard gaps (from below)
  • Gaps between floor boards and wall covering (behind architrave)
  • Gaps around windows (behind window surrounds)
  • Gaps around light fittings in ceiling
  • Proper insulation of ceiling (foam is better than fibreglass bats in terms of U and R factor and draft prevention)
  • Filling of gaps under roof tiles

This can be done cost effectively by our suppliers who have specialized equipment to make it cost effective.

All of the above does not mean your green renovation will not “breathe”. In fact our usual objective is to make it breathe better than a conventional home.  However if you want to make your home even more efficient, breathe constantly fresh air, free of pollens that cause Asthma or dust that can cause Asthma attacks there is a further option…

Mechanical ventilation – the ultimate fresh air option for your green home

At first we understand you might feel this sounds strange, maybe even unnatural, but stay with us because the more you look at this the more natural it will seem. Once you experience your green renovation with planned fresh air flows you will feel the difference.

Living in our Machu Picchu we know first hand how great it is to breathe fresh air with every breath and can say for sure that it feels better.

Why? Because the reality is that within a conventional house there are many areas where air is not “fresh”. That is not just because this may be contaminated by the continual off gassing of building materials and furnishings that release VOC’s or (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are not helpful to your health. It is just that in normal house there is inevitably areas where air does not circulate and is stale or polluted or cold.

When we seal the gaps in the house we can deliver total temperature comfort but you really get the icing on the cake when you add 12v mechanical ventilation. Because it is 12 volt its energy can be taken direct from a solar panel when the sun is out and driven at minimal cost when it is not. It advantages are clear:

  • Permitting the ultimate in hot and cold weather comfort through optimal insulation
  • Mixing hot and cold air so that all areas of your home (or which ever ones you choose) are at an even temperature.
  • Allowing filtering out of pollens, dust and other air borne pollutants

It goes without saying that the ability to reduce your hay fever or have a more asthma friendly home or new home renovation is a big thing but many suffers don’t seem to be aware of this option.

Energy efficient glazing

Many people already know about double-glazing but are not aware of the option of argon as a filler gas or of low emissivity glass both of which can be substantially more efficient than older style double-glazing alone.

While it is possible to build double glazed windows to match nearly any conventional window some clients go for low emissivity glass, which is a specially coated single pane of glass that has an invisible coating that prevents heat escaping through the glass to the cold out doors. These low e windows can be more than twice as efficient as older double-glazing that does not have low e coating.

In the case of our own home we have opted for commercial type windows, which need no maintenance and are double-glazed with argon gas filler. The argon gives

For the technically minded, insulated glass can give serious improvements to the efficiency of your windows. This insulation ability is called an R rating. This refers to the materials resistance to heat or insulation value. The higher the R value the better the insulation capability of that material. Fibreglass batts for example are rated in this way. The thicker the batt, the higher the R rating. Here’s a comparison:

Typical old school double glazed window

Air in the cavity and uncoated glass – R-value of 0.35 K·m2/W.

Add argon gas to cavity – R-value of R 3 (about 8.5 times better)

Add low e glass to this same window and you move up to R 4 (More than 11 times better!)

In some situations people opt for triple glazing but the measures above as you can see add significant improvement to your homes energy efficiency – which over the whole life of the home/window really adds up.

Just FYI while there is no doubt energy efficient glazing is a really important contributor to a green home or green renovation in practice we have found  filling around the edges of a window where it fits into the wall has a huge effect. The key is people  put heat loss down to the glass alone where the window surround is also critical.

Low toxicity paints and low VOC materials in your home renovation

Unfortunately many of the materials used in modern homes are toxic or put out toxic fumes which is termed “off gassing”

One of the chief culprits here is what are called VOC’s or Volatile Organic Compounds. These are chemicals, which have a very low boiling point and so spread their molecules continually into the air at room temperature. Formaldehyde for example is (a known carcinogen which is commonly found in conventional paints and adhesives) has a boiling point of only 19 degrees C. In other words at any temperature over that you are breathing it. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to VOC’s can increase levels of leukemia and lymphoma (1) and these are often responsible for “sick building syndrome”.

At Calm Living Homes we have a whole range of low or no VOC products including paints and floor finishes that we can use to replace your existing finished with the same effect but without the continual leakage of these chemicals into your home environment.

As always we can guide you to the green renovation techniques and sustainable building materials that are going to give you the best value (in the fullest sense of the word) for your money.

Contact Anton Engelmayer for more details on 0418 177380 or [email protected]

Footnote

1. Irigaray P; Newby JA; Clapp R; Hardell L; Howard V; Montagnier L; Epstein S; Belponne D (2007) “Lifestyle related factors and environmental agents causing cancer: An overview” Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy 61 (10) 640 – 58

Uncategorized

Grand Designs home plans?

We have all seen Grand Designs on TV and one thing is for sure. Whether it is a long held plan or a just a scrawl on a napkin after a few reds, the idea for a unique dream home always starts with passion. That’s all you need – until you start to try to build it. That’s when you need someone with building experience that is committed to high standards and working with you every step of the way.

“That is where Grand Designed Homes comes in,” says managing Director Anton Engelmayer, launching the business from the companies stand at the Building and Renovation Show in early July. “Capturing your passion and blending it with our own is our passion” says Anton.

“Not only can we help you interpret your own “grand design” ideas but we can bring other ideas to the table with techniques and materials that you may not have been aware of. We can help with architectural ideas or work with your architect if that is what you would prefer but we also take a whole of house and land approach. That means giving your home the best possible siting for both aesthetics and energy efficiency. We can also make every element, (things like your landscaping gardens, driveway etc.) say something. The idea is that every element can have a life that contributes to the whole in a coordinated way. Not only does this involve the best in green building techniques and savings on energy and maintenance but an effect where your home extends outward and is not just stuck on the land like a sore thumb. That is what separates a real Grand designs level of vision from something that is just souped up ordinary. Just like in the Grand Designs TV show there is always a budget and because we know the supplier, the material and a the design options we can make sure you get the result you want but also the value.

This is what we have done at our Machu Picchu home as our own grand designs project and it is there for you to see. If you are looking for something individual that will be here for the long term Grand Designed Homes offers a unique and personalized service to deliver just that. With over 30 years experience in building we will make sure you not only avoid the traps, but also don’t have to water down your dream because you didn’t know how to get something done. If you want your home to outlast fads and be there for your children we can help you do that. If you want it to save you money throughout the time you own it and one day generate a handsome return through its sale price we can help you do that too.

We are not interested in being a volume builder but would rather do great work that both we and our customers can feel 110% proud of – it’s that simple.”

“One of my strong beliefs” adds Anton “is that knowledge has to be shared to be any value. We are always doing new things and building is what we do every day so we are not precious about what we give away. I don’t mind if someone rings me up to find out about something and I am happy to give some of my time to help them”

Anton Engelmayer is an award winning green builder who won the 2013 Master Builders Association of Victoria Award for the best sustainable home under $650,000 for his Machu Picchu project.

If you have a plan to build your own grand designs green home or would like help to develop one call Anton on 0418 177 380 or email on [email protected]

Uncategorized

Surprising benefits of a sustainable garden

Part of our job as a green builders and designers is to integrate your green home with as sustainable garden for aesthetics and energy efficiencies. While sustainable garden options are as varied as the range of building sites this can contribute hugely to the aesthetics and efficiency of your sustainable home.

In the context of a green home the be benefits of a green home can be many:

  • Insulation from hot and cold
  • Providing food for humans
  • Providing habitat for native animals
  • Reduction of outside noise
  • Softening hard lines of architecture
  • Adding charm and a natural charm to window views
  • Soaking up water runoff
  • Providing warmth to living areas
  • Creating oxygen in living spaces
  • A permanent vibrant, evolving aesthetic inside the home
  • Insulation from heat
  • Protection from fire

The truth is that there is no single silver bullet or magic answer to how you can build a really beautiful sustainable garden and green home. The reality is that the best solutions always take many factors into account.

As an experienced green builder we can help you develop your own individual sustainable home because we know how to balance all these numerous factors, including a sustainable garden design for the best outcome.

 

IF you have any questions about sustainable gardens and integrating them into a green home design call Anton Engelmayer on 0418 177380 or email [email protected]