Nestled into the rugged bushland of NSW’s Blue Mountains resides a one-of-a-kind display home by builder Blue Eco Homes that is not only certified Passive House but also built to a BAL-FZ rating.
The Sapphire display took out the top accolade, HIA Australian GreenSmart Home, on 8 September in a virtual awards event for the 2020 HIA Australian GreenSmart Awards.
The home, which also won the 2020 HIA Australian GreenSmart Display/Project Home award, is completely airtight except for the front door key hole, performing only 0.39 air changes per hour.
It is also energy positive, meaning its 5kW solar PV system and 10kW battery generates and stores more electricity than the single-level four-bedroom property needs to operate.
A striking home that ‘exceeds at all levels’, according to the judges, the Sapphire features a pleasant exterior in contrasting shades of charcoal and light grey, its skillion roofline and raked ceilings providing a spacious interior for occupants. Strategically placed highlight windows allow abundant natural light to filter through, while lightly-hued polished concrete floors offer thermal mass.
To ensure the home maintains a comfortable indoor temperature year-round, despite the mountains experiencing days that exceed 46°C in summer, the home includes high-performing UPVC aluminium-clad triple-glazed windows and doors which will transmit just one-sixth of the heat compared to a typical Australian window.
BAL-FZ rated shutters also offer shade, which are controlled by smart home technology and can be programed to go up or down at certain times of the day based on the shading requirements. This can be overridden remotely by an app, crucial in cases of approaching bushfire.