Custom Home Builder Sunshine Coast

Build Green and Energy-Efficient Homes Using Durisol-Nexcem

Building energy-efficient homes in Sunshine Coast has never been easier. New advancements in building materials and construction methods make eco-friendly houses easily attainable, even for the budget-conscious homeowner.


This is why builders and developers opt for sustainable materials. Concrete alternatives like Durisol-Nexcem have become a popular choice for experts in construction. The brand supports the green initiative by using passive solar design and energy efficient methods to manufacture insulated concrete. In fact, their production method is certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Their insulated concrete form (ICF) blocks aren’t just environmentally friendly – they don’t skimp on performance. Walls built with this material are fireproof, moisture-resistant and soundproof. Unlike other green alternatives, this material is impact-resistant.

This type of concrete saves energy in manufacturing, construction and ownership. Although it’s dense, the material can be easily cut just like wood, removing the need for high-powered saws and grinders.

Homeowners using this material enjoy lowered heating and cooling costs, because of its high insulation values. Considering Australian households generate 11% of their greenhouse gases from temperature control equipment, using ICF blocks can substantially cut down their emissions. To add to this, the material has mould-, termite- and vermin-resistant qualities. This helps prevent damage to the structure, reducing the need for regular maintenance.

Whilst construction materials can do a lot to reduce the carbon footprint of the house, building methods are also important. Something as simple as a well-constructed duct system can cut down your energy use. According to research, 20% of heating and cooling costs are due to leaks in the duct systems, causing inefficient temperature control. The same goes for doors and windows that don’t seal in the home properly.

Call Berens Construction to learn more about building energy-efficient homes in Sunshine Coast.

In 2017, a majority of households switched to LED bulbs. Whilst they do shine brighter and last 25 times longer, it also reduced carbon emissions by 570 million tonnes in that year alone. Something as simple as a lighting fixture can have a huge impact on how people use energy.

Given this information, builders who focus on the finer details of construction plays a big part in homeowners’ energy efficiency during ownership. It helps that most construction experts in Australia constantly look for ways to make their building strategies eco-friendlier.

Green building in Sunshine Coast is all about solid construction methods and eco-friendly materials. Builders ahead of the curve will know how efficient construction can benefit both the homeowner and the environment.

The Thermal Performance of the Durisol Wall Form System. The standard Durisol Wall System comprises insulated concrete forms that are filled with concrete. This creates a strong, interconnected structural layer of reinforced concrete. Durisol building systems provide many advantages; a highly breathable and moisture regulating wall, a 50-year track record of moisture-, fire- and insect-proof materials, high-recycled content, no off-gassing and other benefits. Another advantage of Durisol is its thermal performance, which is a result of two properties: Lack of thermal bridging; and Presence of thermal mass effects.

These two characteristics combine to create a wall system with excellent control of heat loss and heat gains. North American housing has been dominated by wood framed systems since World War 2. As the need to improve thermal performance became more widely recognised, thermal insulation was added to the building enclosure. Codes, standards, and testing procedures were subsequently developed to ensure minimum thermal performance.

Thermal performance requirements and testing became biased toward lightweight framed systems, and rational means of assessing alternative systems were not widely adopted because of the limited availability of such systems. The R-value method of assessing thermal performance had value when proposed not because it was absolutely correct, but because it provided a means to compare otherwise similar wood framed wall systems. This situation is rapidly changing as the building industry seeks new and innovative ways of building, ways that are truly energy- and resource-efficient as well as economical and durable.

Many different types of building systems are now being used throughout North America, requiring the development of more realistic means of assessing their true thermal performance. Although the Durisol Wall Form System is not new, its thermal performance cannot be fairly assessed by the simple methods of the past. This report will present a more realistic assessment of the thermal performance of the Durisol Wall Form System by accounting for thermal bridging (i.e., 2-D effects) and thermal mass. These benefits will then be discussed in the context of the most modern energy code available, ASHRAE Standard 90.1.

Materials like concrete, brick, and Durisol have a high heat capacity, that is, they can store a significant amount of heat or ‘cold’. This material characteristic has long been known and was taken advantage of by ancient builders of adobe walls, sod roofs and brick buildings.

After many years of neglect, the benefits of thermal mass – also called the ability to store heat – are being rediscovered by mainstream builders and accepted by building codes, spurred by studies on passive solar heating, passive cooling, and low-energy houses. The improved thermal performance provided by thermal mass is called the mass effect. Constructing walls, floors and fireplaces of high heat capacity materials result in a building with an abundance of thermal mass. The thermal mass absorbs and stores heat when the indoor air is higher and releases heat when the indoor air is cooler. This temperature moderating effect improves comfort and can also greatly reduce space conditioning energy consumption.

During winter, all modern buildings with double-glazed south-facing windows collect more solar energy when the sun is shining than they lose through the windows at other times. The more insulation the window (e.g., low-E and argon filled, triple-glazed) has, the more “free” energy is collected. However, if the energy collected during sunny hours cannot be stored for use during nights and overcast days, it is often lost to overheating of the house and ventilation. Thermal mass allows the free solar energy to be used by providing the energy storage required to level the peaks (sunny days) and valleys (cold nights).

Indeed, thermal mass has a huge role in reducing heating energy consumption using quality windows. The good thing is, often, this mass requires lesser costs. Thermal mass also has other benefits such as the enhanced capacity to overcome heating system failures without damage. Likewise, it can use smaller heating systems. These benefits of thermal mass are even more crucial in cooling and heating room temperature during summer. In most areas in Australia, the air temperature during the night is considerably lower than the day. By stepping up ventilation during the night, this difference in air temperature can be exploited. This, in turn, cool the thermal mass. This process retains the coolness of the interior even as the temperature rises the next day.

Even though thermal mass has been widely used thousands of years ago by ancient civilizations such as the Anasazi Indians of Arizona, it is still an effective and highly successful method of enjoying a cosy interior environment even without or lesser reliance on air conditioning.

Even in hot climates with warm evenings, major benefits can still be felt from a substantial downsizing in equipment and the shift of maximum cooling to the evening when air conditioning equipment is more efficient and power rates can be cheaper. Thermal mass also acts to reduce the need for cooling by absorbing and storing solar energy that falls on walls. The thermal lag of a Durisol wall is at least 8 hours, meaning that the maximum temperature on the inside occurs 8 hours after the maximum on the outside.