Rising Stars

“It’s not sustainable if it’s not affordable.” That’s the basic philosophy of Jade Projects, a Perth-based builder/designer/developer that has just opened its first 9 Star display home, in conjunction with Right Homes.
The company was founded in 2004 and built an 7 Star house in 2007, winning the State and National HIA Energy Efficiency Awards, followed by a multi-award-winning 8 Star house, the Jade 808, in 2008.

Between them, Jade’s founders and co-directors, Daniel Smee and Jason Janssen, have 50 years industry experience in a variety of roles from estimating to surveying and carpentry.

Daniel was also technical director of HIA WA. “My passion is for energy efficiency and sustainability,” he tells us. “Our goal with the Jade 909 was to create a highly energy-efficient and water-efficient house that was also affordable, would fit on a standard building block and was carbon neutral.” Not surprisingly, Daniel was named HIA GreenSmart Professional of the Year in 2009.

The design and construction of the 909 (and the 808 before it) does not rely on untested theories or materials. Both designs exploit the four well-established passive design principles – orientation, insulation, ventilation and thermal mass – and double brick walling, which is standard construction practice in WA.

How affordable is the 909? “The base model is around $200,000 rising to about $285,000 as displayed with photo-voltaic cells, grey water system and rainwater tanks,” Jason Janssen explains.

Jade describe their 909 display home, built and marketed by Right Homes, as “beyond carbon neutral.” It has no air-conditioning, just ceiling fans to assist ventilation and the three kilowatt PV cells exceed the home’s power requirements. The result is a water saving of 76 percent over a standard house and a remarkable 119 percent energy saving!

The use of clay bricks and terracotta roof tiles is a feature of all three of Jade’s Star-rated designs. “Both are materials that have a very long life expectancy,” says Jason. “Clay tiles also have a lower CO2 footprint than steel sheet roofing.”

The double-pitch roof design for the 909 is simple, with no hips or valleys. “We just had one of the worst storms ever in Perth and there were no problems with overflow or leakage in the 909,” he adds.

What’s next for Jade? “We could build a 10 Star house but that may be at the cost of affordability,” Jason Janssen contends. “We achieved the 9 Star rating primarily through design but also by choosing the right products, hence double clay bricks and terracotta tiles.

“We keep lifting the bar each time but it is essential that we maintain affordability as a major component of the development”

The Jade 909 features Bristile Vienna profile terracotta roof tiles in Pepper, part of the Valley Essentials range. See the 909 at Multiplex’s Vale Display Village, Wesley Way, Aveley WA.