Blue Eco Homes wins Australia's most sustainable home

Building company Blue Eco Homes from Winmalee has won four environmental building awards at the 2020 Housing Industry Association (HIA) Australian GreenSmart Awards.

The family-run business won the highest accolade, the 2020 HIA Australian GreenSmart Home, for their passive house display home the 'Sapphire' in Faulconbridge, with the home also being awarded the Australian GreenSmart display/project home.

HIA Australian GreenSmart Awards represent the latest in environmental design and sustainable building practices, and recognise HIA members who build and design greener and more liveable homes.

The HIA Australian GreenSmart judges were impressed by the energy positive Sapphire display home, commenting "the home exceeds on all levels."

"The home is completely airtight except for the front door key hole, and features highlight windows for abundant northern sunlight, lightly-hued polished concrete floors for thermal mass and high-performing UPVC aluminium-clad triple-glazed windows and doors," the judges said in a joint statement.

Blue Eco Homes' Joe Mercieca was acknowledged as the Australian GreenSmart professional for being passionate about changing the way Australian homes are designed and constructed. Blue Eco Homes also won GreenSmart custom built home for a uniquely designed home in regional NSW, inspired by an upside-down Akubra hat, built to run completely off the grid.

Mr Mercieca said he was "over the moon" that he and his hardworking team have won four out of eight HIA GreenSmart awards.

"We were up against some large building companies from all across Australia, so it's great to see our small family-run business make its mark in the industry," Mr Mercieca said. "We are always looking for ways to improve our environmental practices, including working with suppliers who prioritise sustainable practices that don't cost the earth.

"We feel so grateful for all the support and encouragement we have received from the industry and community. The amount of people who have visited the Sapphire passive house display home shows the level of interest in passive house and environmental building practices. Pre-COVID we had 800 people visit the display home and there have been many more who have attended virtual tours."

A passive house is the highest standard in energy efficiency. The Sapphire passive house is carbon-zero, relying on building physics, location climate data, and carefully integrated minimal building services and technology.

Blue Eco Homes will be providing an online tour of the Sapphire on September 20 as part of Sustainable House Day. Mr Mercieca will feature in an online panel on Prefab Homes at 4.15pm. Go to www.sustainablehouseday.com to register.

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