There is one thing all luxury homes have in common:
There’s never enough room for the equipment that’s needed for the building’s services
… and this causes space & noise problems, and reduced energy efficiency.
The home sits on a nice block with a fantastic view that needs to be capitalised on. There are the expansive rooms. Plenty of architectural features. There’s not much land to do this all on. And there’s even less room for equipment, let alone ‘service rooms’.
There is the Floor Heating/Cooling, Air-conditioning Heating/Cooling, Pool Heating, Cellar Cooling, Tap Hot Water Heating, and maybe even a Sauna or walk-in Cool Room.
For all of these services, there will be at least 6 to 7 different pieces of equipment to power all of them (but usually more like 9-10).
The thing is, nobody wants to have their ocean view spoiled by having some equipment in the way. Their party interrupted by a clicking sound coming from a nearby pool heater. Or their sleep disturbed by a noisy heat pump . Or have a big ugly aircon unit on their roof (totally detracting from the architecture).
So architects and builders solve this by hiding these pieces of equipment out of sight: The air-con condenser units are put in the garage. The heat pump for the floor heating ends up shoved in a tight laneway on one side of the house. (And there’s just nowhere to hide the pool heater, right?)
Most of these end up being partially hidden away… but by hiding them into small rooms and spaces, they unfortunately do a worse job than they normally would.
The air-con units recirculate air in the garage, dramatically lowering their efficiency (by up to 71%). The heat pump doesn’t have access to warm air in the tight laneway, cutting its efficiency in half. And the pool heater... you get the idea.
So what´s the solution?
The problem is that each piece of equipment generates the energy required for its own need: The heat pump generates heat for the floor heating. The condenser unit generates chill for the air-conditioning. The pool heat pump generates heat for the pool… and so on.
And each of the units therefore needs to have its own input and output (external machine that generates the heat or chill (e.g. aircon condenser), and internal unit that distributes that heat or chill (e.g. ducted aircon fancoil))... cluttering your home.
And because each of these work separately, they are also ‘blowing’ energy that you have created (and paid for) into the air. Literally blowing money into the air.
Let me explain…
Consider your air-conditioner at home. During summer it blows cool air into your rooms. But outside, it’s blowing heat into the atmosphere. Why? Because it’s taking the heat from inside your house, and rejecting it outside.
So what’s the big deal? Well because you also pay to create heat to warm up your pool and your tap hot water… it doesn’t make sense to blow away any of this reject heat from the air-conditioner!
This is heat that you’ve already paid for (while creating the chill for the air-con)… and it means – by smartly reusing the already created heat - you can eliminate two other pieces of equipment – the pool heater and the water heater.
From our experience, the best way to recuperate this reject energy (both heat and chill) is by having a single central unit that automatically creates, collects, and sends the energy to wherever you need it.
One piece of equipment instead of the usual 9 – 10 units that clutter up the whole house.
This single unit can replace the air-con unit, the floor heating unit, the hot water unit, pool heating unit, and cellar cooling unit.
No energy is unnecessarily wasted. It’s all captured and re-used… and your energy bills are much lower (30-50% depending on the number of services).
There is only one piece of equipment, saving the space you would otherwise require for the 6-10 individual units for each service.
And since this central unit is designed so that it doesn’t annoy you or your neighbours with noise or vibrations, it can be completely hidden out of sight (without compromising efficiency).
If you´d like to hide the service equipment (without losing their efficiency) in your home too, this is how we can help you…
- Thermal Energy Modelling: We’ll use special software to comprehensively model the heat gains and losses of your building during the year. From this we know how well each part of your building performs thermally… or underperforms. And this means we can make the necessary design changes before your house is built. It might be to increase the insulation in the roof. Or change how the glazing is shaded on the northern aspect. But one thing is clear – we will have precise, calculated data. And this means you (or us on your behalf) can make quality informed decisions on what to do with your building.
- Building Design Details: Want to do it like the pros in Europe? We’ll explain to you and specify the exact kind of insulation that’s best for your building, and how it should be installed with detailed drawings. Or we can detail how to get your building airtight or solar passive (without breaking the bank). All in-house by our engineers and architect.
- HVAC Design: If you’re after an integrated HVAC system for your building that’s guaranteed to work, based on our 25+ years of installations, and professionally engineering knowledge, we can help you. We’ll expertly design an integrated heating and cooling system for your home, which will include:
- Floor/wall heating/cooling
- Aircon heating/cooling
- Fresh air ventilation
- Pool heatingTap hot water heating
- Photovoltaic & battery system
Detailed calculations will be performed and precise plans drawn ensuring your system is guaranteed to work, and work at peak efficiency.
- Hydronic Floor and Wall Heating & Cooling: We will expertly install your floor or wall hydronic system to the highest of European standards. Each pipe will be well insulated where it should be – meaning no needless energy losses. The pipes will be the right size – meaning the energy is delivered and well transferred to where it needs to go. They’ll be positioned only where they will provide benefit in your building (and not waste you money). And most importantly, every single metre of pipe is tested, making sure there will not be any problems in the future, and they will service your building well for at least 50 years.
- Fresh Air Ventilation: Keeping the air quality in your house high is super easy. We will monitor the CO2 levels (so we know precisely when fresh air is needed). And we can mix in this fresh air either with your aircon, or supply it direct. Even a dedicated heat exchange ventilator can be used to exhaust the stale indoor air and supply fresh outdoor air (without losing much thermal energy). All you’ll see is some good-looking grilles that we install in the ceiling, and you’ll feel the benefit of fresh air.
- Integrated Hydronic HVAC: You don’t need to have 10 separate pieces of equipment for the services in your house – we’ll combine them all into one for you e.g. combined floor, air, pool, hot water system). Why? Because this way you not only save space, but you dramatically increase the efficiency of your services by having them work together (and not against each other).
- Thermal Insulation: Did you know that even if you install thermal insulation to your house, your energy bills can still be sky-high? That’s because of two reasons – the first is that if the insulation is installed poorly (gaps, airflow between, compressed or dusty) it can effectively null the performance. The second is, not all insulation products are as good as they’re touted (e.g. foil and blanket insulations). Due to technicalities, they are allowed to state their performance as higher than it actually is in any real-life application. But we’ll only recommend to you what we know works (based on the laws of physics). And we’ll install it so that it works to its best ability – no gaps or holes that will leak energy.
- Off-Grid: Modelling of your building’s energy use lets us size and design a PV and battery system that allows you and the rest of your building to operate all the lights and appliances you want… without drawing energy from the grid. We’ll properly size and install the system so you have power when you want it, and most importantly, when you need it.
- Building Management Controls: Having exact oversight and precise control of your building services allows you to properly manage not only the internal environment, but also your energy consumption. We will design, program and install a customised building management system to help you create a low-energy or net-zero building. All of your building services, such as heating, cooling, ventilation will be included, along with your hot water services, photovoltaics, and even blinds & lighting.
The best thing is, we will monitor and optimise your system over the first year of running – meaning you truly will achieve efficiency.
- Custom Heat Pump: Often an off-the-shelf heat pump doesn’t cut it…. They just can’t do everything you want them to do. So a long time ago, we started to build them for our clients, to their exact requirements, meaning it does what they want, when they want it, super efficiently. Want a super quiet heat pump? No problem. Want a multi-stage heat pump? Great, we have your back. We’ll make it happen for you.
If you’d like to build a luxurious home and create a totally natural feel and comfortable climate in it, give us a call and we can have an introductory quick 15 min. consultation over the phone with you about your plans. To help you understand the process. To help you select the right building products or HVAC systems. And to answer any questions. We promise no salesy pitching, just info on physics, energy flows, thermal efficiencies and how to use it all in seamlessly heating/cooling your house... 08 6468 8895
If you´d like to get our detailed expert opinion and guidance, please see our expert consultation option here.
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