Lighthome.com.au is a new website dedicated to sustainable architecture that provides inspiration, information and advice about light homes and demonstrates how lightweight construction is perfectly suited to the way Australians live.
The opposite of the traditional, imported-style brick and tile home home that aren't designed to work seamlessley with the Australian climate, a perfect light home is light and airy - yet robust. it complements its environment and touches lightly on the earth and on the pocket.
Amanda Falconer, Lighthome.com.au editor, said there has never been a more relevant time to start thinking about light homes, lightweight construction and materials.
“With rising construction and energy costs, building a light home or renovating with lightweight construction provides a clear opportunity to create an inspired design which works with its environment both today and tomorrow –within a realistic budget.
“Many people looking to build or renovate also want to have minimal impact on their surrounding environment. In fact, many local councils in areas with sloping land are starting to demand low impact construction, which is best achieved with lightweight framing and cladding,” Amanda said.
Lighthome.com.au has three Design Ambassadors, Ed Ewers, Shane Denman and Carolyn McFarland, who are architects and designers inspired by the potential of lightweight construction and passionate about superbly designed sustainable projects.
According to Ed Ewers, many people think brick is so solid it’s the ‘only thing’ to build with. “When in fact, well-designed light homes have shown to withstand the very worst nature can throw at it, like Hurricane Katrina, the Victorian bushfires and more recently the New Zealand earthquakes.
“With the strength and virtually limitless design possibilities light weight construction offers I’m sometimes left wondering why we are still building in the heavy style brick and tile more suited to the dark cold climate of the English ancestors,” he said.
Shane Denman agrees and added that unlike in the English, Australians want to let the light and environment into our homes and lives – not shut it out. “And you can easily and economically do this is with a well-designed light home.
“Light weight construction allows more flexibility in the design, you can use more glazing, capture light and create unique shapes that work with the surrounding environment. Many of which are just not possible with traditional brick and tile homes.”
Carolyn McFarland also noted that many people want to build sustainably but don’t really know where to start. “They want to understand green building, but between embodied energy, energy efficiency, site sensitivity there is a lot of information to get your mind around.
“The Light Home website offers people the opportunity to engage with fundamentals of green design, get an understanding of the language behind it and truly understand how they can work with their architect or builder to put these theories into practise,” said Carolyn.
Lighthome.com.au is sponsored by lightweight materials range Scyon™, an advanced cement composite that is both lightweight and heavy duty.
Amanda added that Lighthome.com.au was created with the aim to inform but more importantly inspire people with the potential of lightweight construction. “With the strong innovative materials now available we now have the opportunity to be more creative than ever before with all the strength of more traditional materials.
“We live in an age when the world’s top material scientists research lighter, stronger materials – not heavier ones,” said Amanda. “Why would you close your eyes to the same kind of innovation in your home?”