The Net-Zero Homes Paving the Way for the Future

Globally, there is a growing shift towards sustainable housing. In Europe, initiatives to transition to greener homes aim to address rising energy costs and benefit the environment. However, the real estate sector still accounts for 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

According to the Guardian, once upon a time a big bad wolf could huff, puff, and blow the straw house down. But not any more – in rural Victoria, Envirotecture’s Huff’n’Puff Haus is here to stay.

Asked to create an off-grid, all-electric, energy-efficient home, architect and director Talina Edwards set out to build a house that would let two empty nesters age in place for years to come.

Huff’n’Puff house is made from prefabricated, structurally insulated straw bale panels about 300-350mm thick and has “passivhaus premium certification”, which means it generates more renewable energy than it uses.

As a waste product, straw not only sequesters CO2 – reducing the embodied carbon of the project – but is an under-utilised material in building. Edwards says the amount of straw burned in paddocks annually would be enough to insulate 40,000 homes in Australia every year.

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