Bondor house

Building a greener future

Keen to improve the eco-credentials of your next project? These innovative, environmentally-friendly building materials will help you save time, money – and the environment.

Photo courtesy Bondor

Sustainability is a buzzword that’s thrown around a lot in relation to home building, but what does it really mean? A sustainable home has a low impact on the environment, both during construction and once occupied. The strategies we most often talk about include optimising the design to reduce the amount of energy the home’s occupants need to use. However, when building sustainably, it’s just as important to look at construction processes and the materials the building is constructed from.

To reduce the overall environmental impact when building, aim to reduce waste generated onsite – choose materials with less packaging, measure carefully to avoid over-ordering, and recycle wherever possible. Select building materials that are sourced from recycled product, from renewable and sustainable sources, or products that can be recycled when the building is eventually demolished.

Fortunately, building for sustainability is becoming easier: as market demand for ecologically responsible building materials grows, more and more mainstream manufacturers are developing products that combine structural integrity with environmental integrity.

Bondor house
Bondor’s latest offering, LuxeWall®, is an environmentally friendly, lightweight walling product
Photo courtesy Bondor
The panels have been successfully used on Australian building sites for more than 15 years
Photo courtesy EGGER

Sustainability in the frame

Building with timber sourced from sustainably managed forests delivers double eco-points: trees absorb carbon dioxide as they are growing, so well-managed plantations, where harvested areas are re-planted, may help to offset some of our carbon emissions. Plus, harvesting timber from managed plantations helps to preserve the planet’s precious old-growth forests and animal habitats.

EGGER’s OS’Brace® and OS’Brace® H2 Blue wood-based panels are crafted from wood that comes from sustainably managed forest; so building with these strong pre-cut oriented strand board (OSB) panels will help improve the overall sustainability of your next construction project.

These environmentally-friendly 6mm bracing panels complement EGGER’s existing termite-protected wood construction product range for the Australian construction industry. Established as an effective bracing solution, the panels are engineered and tested to comply with the relevant structural performance requirements of the Australian National Construction Code and have been successfully used on Australian building sites for more than 15 years.

EGGER OS’Brace® is a resin-bonded, three-layer wood material board created from specially oriented strands of wood. The majority of wood used is debarked, fresh spruce from sustainably managed forest. Mixed wood variants or special hardwood varieties are used where boards must meet specific demands.

EGGER says separate strand processing for the core and surface layers, a special strand geometry, and a high level of orientation of the surface strands all optimise the structural performance and physical appearance of OS’Brace®. The orientation of the strands creates a performance which is greater than required for strength and stiffness properties between centre to centre of joists, plus, depending on the application, it can provide bracing solutions for up to 6kn of pressure.

Another bonus? Building with OS’Brace® products is quick and easy, leading to faster turnaround times and satisfied customers. Plus, with EGGER’s focus on sustainably managed forests, this innovative, high-quality bracing solution represents an earth-friendly choice, giving your projects an extra tick for sustainability.

Plasterboard is manufactured from gypsum pressed between layers of recycled paper

Plaster master

Internal walls account for a huge part of any new home, and your choice of lining for this large surface area can have a dramatic impact on the building’s overall sustainability. Plasterboard, which is manufactured from gypsum pressed between layers of recycled paper, is a fully-recyclable product and therefore a good choice for eco-conscious building. Knauf says that as plasterboard is also a lightweight building material, this helps reduce the embodied energy associated with transport costs and emissions.

Visually, your choice of plasterboard can also have a big impact on a home’s interiors. Beautiful clean, smooth walls that can reduce noise, such as Knauf’s Opal plasterboard, help create a home that is durable, low maintenance, functional and aesthetically desirable.

Knauf has recently updated its residential plasterboard guide. This new, reader-friendly manual provides straightforward diagrams for installing plasterboard in residential dwellings. The new and improved content presents Knauf’s recommendation for best practice plasterboard installation to achieve an optimum finish.

Complementing Knauf’s Blueprint technical manual, the residential plasterboard guide provides step-by-step requirements for walls and ceilings. Internal and external ceilings are covered independently, given external ceilings are subject to more demanding conditions than inside the home.

Another inclusion in the updated guide is information for the use of Knauf metal framing components for ceilings. It provides assurance for frame and screw spacing requirements for the various wind classes, essential for homes in Queensland and Northern Australia that can be frequently exposed to extreme weather events.

The new Knauf residential plasterboard guide is an essential tool for successful plasterboard installation, keeping you up-to-date with the latest regulations and compliant with industry best practice.

Knauf house interior
Visually, your choice of plasterboard can have a big impact on a home’s interiors
Photo courtesy Knauf
Knauf house interior
Knauf’s Opal plasterboard helps to create a durable, low maintenance, functional and aesthetically desirable home
Photo courtesy Knauf

Walls with more

The ongoing thermal performance of a home is a major factor in its overall sustainability, so when building, look for products that will assist in keeping the interiors naturally warmer in winter and cooler in summer. This will dramatically reduce the amount of energy used by the occupants over the life of the home, lowering its overall environmental impact.

Bondor’s latest offering, LuxeWall®, is an environmentally friendly, lightweight walling product that delivers these exact benefits. With superior thermal performance and air-leakage control through interlocking wall modules, LuxeWall® helps regulate internal temperatures and reduce energy usage for heating and cooling.

The high-performance LuxeWall® range delivers outstanding architectural finishes, with flush wall and corner modules available in a range of trending Colorbond® Matt and Metallic finishes, combined with an architectural UniSmart® trim finishing system.

According to Bondor, building with LuxeWall® makes it easier than ever to deliver projects on time and on budget. This highly cost-effective product is specifically designed and engineered to allow increased speed of construction, thanks to the unique concealed fixed system where LuxeWall® wall modules are fixed to traditional timber or metal stud wall framing.

LuxeWall® is tested and certified to Australian Standards, conforms to the NCC with Codemark accreditation for easy certification, and is manufactured right here in Australia by Bondor Building Solutions. Bondor is proud to manufacture and deliver a cost-effective solution Australia-wide to the local building industry, using Australian-made BlueScope Colorbond® Steel exclusively for the ultimate in durable and low-maintenance building materials.


This article was compiled with contributions from Egger, Knauf and Bondor.

Related Articles

Hot essentials

What influences today’s trends? For some it will always be about visual appeal, beauty in design but for others there is a need for something more; how something synthesises into your life, or even the world around us.

Botanical bathrooms

While the semi-outdoor bathroom has its roots in high-end accommodation and boutique resorts, the opulent model is branching out into the home.

Prime products for renovation

Renovating and extending an older home can move it from poky, dated and daggy to spacious and fabulous, with the use of clever modern products.

Heritage and experience: partnering with builders for half a century

Since 1953, quantity surveyors Rawlinsons has been a trusted business partner to the construction industry, but there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to these experts in cost estimation.

Join more than 120,000 like-minded subscribers