Affordability Experiment Launched in Bennett Springs

19 October 2020

Mirvac’s Affordability Experiment in partnership with TERRACE Homes, Keystart and Synergy has officially commenced.

This morning, the Purcell family moved into their new TERRACE home at Iluma Private Estate in Bennett Springs where their utility consumption and lifestyle impacts will be monitored by leading software solutions company Simble’s state-of-the-art app to help us gain an understanding of the cost savings that can be achieved by living in an efficient home.

As part of the project, the team at TERRACE Homes designed and constructed a $415,000 three-bedroom, two-bathroom net-zero energy home which will be lived in by Jackson and Lisa Purcell, with their children Monroe (five) and Christian (two).

At TERRACE, we are continually innovating and striving to be the market-leader in sustainable, liveable small lot housing that promotes both affordability and liveability. Our job here was to design and construct a home that is thermally efficient – one that would guarantee affordability not just in the purchase price, but in the ongoing running costs of the home.

Our standard build methodology already has superior thermal efficiency. A home constructed in double brick will stay cooler for longer in summer and warmer in winter, thereby reducing the requirement for mechanical heating and cooling, while the Floortech slab allows for improved thermal mass. All our designs include balconies to either the master bedroom or the main living room allowing for cross-ventilation. The intention is to create homes with excellent passive solar design enabling the homes to require limited heating and cooling.

After the initial research, we undertook further modelling for this project to ensure a home with the requirement for minimal artificial heating or cooling. From the size of the rooms and windows, to the floor coverings and the security measures we’ve put in place allowing the home to be safely opened up – everything was taken into account to make sure this home will achieve the best possible outcome for both the project and the Purcells.

In Western Australia, the minimum NatHERS star rating is six stars. Our design for this home initially came in at 8.4 stars, but with further tweaking we were able to get this to a 9.1-star rating, which is unheard of here in our state. And in doing this, we managed to stay in keeping with the TERRACE Homes principle of building an architecturally designed home with a clever use of space.

This design can be easily replicated for future projects without costing an arm and a leg, making use of technology that is already available at an affordable price.

Synergy has provided rooftop solar panels and a battery to further reduce the energy requirements of the home and help the family better manage their electricity bills.

The Purcell family will pay rent to Mirvac, which will be set aside as a deposit; following the completion of the experiment, the family can use that money set aside as a deposit to purchase their first home.

We’re looking forward to the next 12 months and working with the Purcells and the team of industry-leading stakeholders to better understand the real-world benefits that can be achieved through living in an affordable and sustainable home.