A new pilot ‘Low Carbon’ home being built by Fletcher Living at Waiata Shores, in Auckland, is one of the first dwellings to use the high thermal performance Metro Series ThermalHEART with Centrafix window system from APL Window Solutions. The range, which is thermally insulated, is rolling out nationwide currently.
The Low Carbon home is an ambitious initiative by Fletcher Living’s Sustainability team and is part of the drive to help New Zealand reach its climate change goals. Concept design was by Strachan Group Architects with detailed design by Tim Ross from Architype — a Dunedin-based high-performance, passive house architectural firm. Many other consultants were brought in to ensure sustainability goals were met and measured, including Jason Quinn, an engineer from Sustainable Engineering, and landscape architect Craig Pocock from Beca Wellington.
Steve Evans, Fletcher Living Chief Executive, says that New Zealand's home building sector faces a monumental shift in the way it designs, sources materials, and builds. “Building a low carbon house that meets the 1.5 degree Celsius carbon budget is a move towards meeting our emission goals and we see it as an essential step for preparing our business for future climate challenges.”
Nicola Tagiston, Head of Sustainability for Fletcher Living, said that the biggest contributor to a low carbon home was the operational carbon — how the dwelling was heated and cooled over its lifetime. This led to a choice of products that ensured that the three-bedroom home would have optimum insulation and an airtight thermal envelope.
The APL Centrafix system is designed to efficiently recess a high-performance ThermalHEART window or door frame from the front face of the cladding back into the building wall. This aligns the insulating elements of the window with the insulation elements of the wall, thus maximising overall thermal effectiveness. All windows in the system have IGU’s with Argon gas fill and two low-emissivity coating options for enhanced energy efficiency. Triple glazing is also available.
Other advantages of the Centrafix installation method include the elimination of exterior airflow around window frames, and the provision of a factory fitted, fully integrated, sill-safe system to manage weathertightness and airtightness.
Nicola said that Fletcher Living was already taking the learnings from the pilot, LowCO project and applying them to three additional low-carbon terrace homes also under construction at Waiata Shores.
APL Centrafix installation and ThermalHEART products are available from Altherm, First and Vantage window manufacturers nationwide. The window supplier to the LowCO units at Waiata Shores was Huntly Joinery Window Systems, who supplied fixed and awning windows, and hinged and French doors.