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  • Writer's pictureMike Movaffaghi

Wilga: Embrace Nature With Heart In a Humble Luxury Minimalist Home

Updated: May 28

Wilga represents a modern sustainable minimalist dwelling situated in the northern beaches region of Sydney. Surrounded by protected Sydney Blue Gumtrees, this luxury house incorporates trees in design concerning the natural environment. With a commitment to environment sustainability, it achieves a zero-carbon footprint.


Wilga takes sustainability to heart, especially with the presence of the protected Sydney Blue Gumtrees. The design incorporates eco-friendly practices, ensuring energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact. In addition, strictly adhering to sustainable construction codes and standards, Wilga is built using environmentally friendly materials and techniques in every stage of its construction which was led and performed by experienced luxury home builders in Sydney, Archbuild team. Living in Wilga means experiencing luxury in a space that respects and sustains the natural environment.



In our prior blog post titled "Green Building Revolution: Eco-Friendly Techniques and Materials for Your Dream Home," we discussed the latest eco-friendly building methods and materials in detail, offering valuable information for anyone interested in sustainable construction. Now, let's take a closer look at unique experience review of Archbuild sustainable construction practices and techniques incorporated in Wilga's custom building phases.




What are Sydney Blue Gumtrees?

"Sydney Blue Gumtrees" refer to a specific species of eucalyptus trees, scientifically known as Eucalyptus Saligna, native to the coastal regions of New South Wales, Australia, including Sydney. These trees are protected due to their ecological significance, cultural value, and role in maintaining biodiversity.


Sydney Blue Gumtrees are tall evergreen trees, known for their striking blue-gray bark and lance-shaped leaves. They can reach heights of up to 50 meters (164 feet) and are commonly found in forests, woodlands, and along watercourses in their native habitat.



blue gumtrees in sydney are protected and must be preserved in sustainable construction of a luxury home


These trees are protected for several reasons:

  1. Ecological Importance: Sydney Blue Gumtrees provide essential habitat and food sources for various native wildlife, including birds, insects, and mammals. They contribute to the overall health and diversity of the ecosystem.

  2. Cultural Significance: Indigenous Australian cultures have long revered eucalyptus trees, including Sydney Blue Gumtrees, for their spiritual significance and practical uses. They have been traditionally used for food, medicine, tools, and ceremonial purposes.

  3. Environmental Benefits: Like other eucalyptus species, Sydney Blue Gumtrees play a vital role in oxygen production, carbon sequestration, and soil stabilization, contributing to climate regulation and mitigating the effects of climate change.



protected blue gum trees in sydney preserved in wilga by environment conscious team of luxury home builders of Archbuild
Protected Blue Gumtrees in Wilga's site prior to construction

eco-friendly building phase of Wilga in Sydney by luxury home builders of Archbuild

sustainable construction by preserving Sydney protected blue gum trees in wilga by luxury home builders of Archbuild
Sydney protected Blue Gumtrees in Wilga, during construction phase

Australia's Building Code and Sustainability Standards

All over Australia, there are many building regulations, codes and standards that govern construction practices nationwide. However, when it comes to environmental sustainability, specific measures are tailored to individual regions. In New South Wales, Australia, a province renowned for its diverse landscapes and vibrant urban centres, distinct codes and regulations are in place to ensure that buildings adhere to rigorous environmental sustainability standards. These regulations not only promote sustainable building practices but also contribute to the overall resilience and preservation of our natural environment.


Building Code of Australia (BCA)

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) is a set of national standards and requirements for the design and construction of buildings in Australia. It is administered by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) and is typically adopted and enforced by state and territory governments through their own legislation.


The BCA sets out technical provisions and performance requirements related to various aspects of building design and construction, including:

  1. Structural Integrity: Standards for ensuring that buildings are structurally sound and capable of withstanding loads and forces as per their intended use.

  2. Fire Safety: Requirements for fire resistance, detection, prevention, and evacuation measures to minimize the risk of fire-related incidents and ensure occupant safety.

  3. Access and Mobility: Provisions for ensuring buildings are accessible to people with disabilities, including requirements for ramps, handrails, door widths, and accessible facilities.

  4. Energy Efficiency: Standards aimed at reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions through measures such as insulation, ventilation, and energy-efficient appliances.

  5. Health and Amenity: Regulations related to indoor air quality, natural light, ventilation, and other factors that contribute to the health and comfort of building occupants.

  6. Plumbing and Drainage: Requirements for the installation and maintenance of plumbing and drainage systems to ensure the safe and efficient supply of water and disposal of wastewater.

  7. Sustainability: Guidelines for incorporating sustainable design principles and practices into building projects, including provisions for water conservation, waste management, and renewable energy.

The BCA is regularly updated to reflect advancements in technology, changes in construction practices, and evolving community expectations. Compliance with the BCA is typically mandatory for all home builders in all new building projects and renovations, and failure to adhere to its requirements may result in penalties or legal consequences.


Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)

NatHERS is a national framework in Australia for assessing the energy efficiency of residential buildings, including houses and apartments. NatHERS provides a star rating for a dwelling based on its thermal performance, considering factors such as insulation, orientation, window placement, and shading. The aim is to promote energy-efficient design and construction practices to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in residential buildings.


Nathers house energy rating scheme for luxury home builders in sydney, Australia

Building Sustainability Index (BASIX)

BASIX is a planning tool and regulatory requirement in New South Wales, Australia, aimed at promoting sustainable design and construction practices in residential buildings. BASIX assesses the environmental impact of new residential developments by setting targets for water efficiency, thermal comfort, and energy efficiency. Builders including custom home builders must meet BASIX requirements as part of the development approval process to ensure that new buildings are environmentally sustainable.


BASIX certificate for architectural home builders in Sydney, Australia


Adherence to Environmental Sustainability Standards in Construction

At Archbuild, as a team of skilled architects and experienced luxury home builders, we have an "Environmental Sustainable Policy" which is implemented and supervised from the beginning of the concept design through to the selection of the materials and construction methods to ensure the highest level of sustainability within the project constraints.


We engage licensed consultants to model the energy ratings of our buildings, adhering to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) standards, including NatHERS and BASIX requirements. In every project, we strive to exceed these minimum benchmarks, aiming for a higher level of ambient comfort while simultaneously reducing our environmental footprint. This approach reflects our dedication to not only meet but surpass environmental standards, ensuring our projects are both comfortable and eco-friendly.



 

According to the Basix Certificate document issued for Wilga, this luxurious house has successfully surpassed all three BASIX sustainability indexes, including energy, water, and thermal comfort.


Achieving a commendable score of 5.1, this architect-designed house not only meets but exceeds the minimum legislated standards for thermal star rating performance and energy rating target scores.

 


Construction Strategies and Practices at Wilga Luxury Home

Our Wilga luxury house stands as a testament to our commitment to environmental sustainability. Throughout its construction and in its ongoing operation, we have employed various strategies to not only minimise environmental impact but also to enhance the natural surroundings. As highly-skilled architectural builders registered in Sydney, we diligently incorporate sustainability techniques and practices into this architect-designed house design and construction phases reflected in the following list:


  • Harvesting and Recycling On-Site Resources During Construction: In constructing the Wilga modern house, we placed a significant emphasis on preserving the existing natural elements, particularly the protected Sydney Blue Gumtrees and the surrounding landscape. Recognising the value of these natural resources, we carefully designed our construction processes to safeguard these elements. Our eco-friendly construction approach involved strategic planning to avoid any damage to the trees and utilising natural rainwater efficiently, thus reducing our reliance on external water sources. This practice not only protected the existing landscape but also ensured a harmonious blend of our construction activities with the natural environment.

  • Utilising On-Site Resources Post-Construction: Post-construction, the Wilga architect-designed house continues to embody sustainable techniques. We have installed a rainwater harvesting system, which collects and reuses rainwater for various household needs, reducing the dependency on mains water. Additionally, our landscaping choices are environmentally friendly - we opted for a no-grass, no-concrete landscape, favouring porous finishes that facilitate stormwater absorption onsite. This environmentally conscious design choice not only minimises water runoff but also supports local water conservation efforts.

  • Minimising Pollution: Our project diligently addresses potential pollution issues. By incorporating measures to manage acid sulphate soils and salinity, we have ensured that our construction and operational processes do not adversely affect air, earth, or water quality. These measures are vital in maintaining the ecological balance and preventing long-term environmental damage.

  • Protecting and Supporting Site Ecology: The ecological protection strategy for the Wilga luxurious house is comprehensive. As environment-conscious luxury home builders, we have retained the large Sydney Blue Gumtrees and protected them during sustainable construction.

  • Construction Waste Management: Throughout the construction phase, we prioritised waste minimisation and recycling. As experienced architectural builders, we segregated different waste streams for effective recycling and disposal, significantly reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. This not only conserved resources but also highlighted our commitment to sustainable construction practices.

  • Operational Waste Management and Recycling: During the operational stage of our project, we have implemented several sustainable techniques. Rainwater is efficiently harvested and stored in a dedicated tank, which is then utilised for irrigating the landscape. For waste management, recyclable materials and green waste are segregated and placed in designated recycling bins. These are then responsibly collected by the local council for proper recycling. Additionally, an InSinkErator is installed to further reduce the amount of waste destined for landfills. This device grinds organic kitchen waste, converting it into a form that can be processed through standard wastewater treatment methods, thus minimising the environmental footprint of our waste disposal.




Archbuild is committed to crafting luxury eco-friendly homes in Sydney that are cleverly designed and carefully built to use less energy for heating and cooling, leaving behind low to zero carbon footprint. Our homes are made to last in the tough Australian climate with little maintenance needed.


Discover the joy of sustainable living with Archbuild. If you're passionate about preserving nature, contact us today to start your journey towards a luxurious, greener home that lasts a lifetime.



 
Mike Movaffaghi, experienced architect, registered builder and founder of Archbuild
About The Author

Mike Movaffaghi is the co-founder of Movarasi Architects & Project Managers and the founder of Archbuild Architects + Builders in Sydney, Australia. He started his professional career after graduation in 2001, delivering over $1 billion of building projects in a wide range of commercial, residential and public/government sectors.

Some of his projects have been shortlisted and finalist for Australian Institute of Architects Awards.

Mike is a registered architect, licensed builder, and accredited project manager (PMP). He is a member of the Australian Institute of Architects and Master Builders Association. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in architectural engineering and project management.

 

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