Diverse Builders office and showroom

Diverse Builders was determined to design an energy-efficient building which would showcase what we can do for our clients. We achieved that, despite the significant restrictions imposed by our site. We had a solid brick wall on our northern boundary, which posed a problem in terms of accessing the northerly sun that’s key to energy efficient design. Having inadequate space for rainwater storage was also a problem, as council required us to provide car parking on site.

First and foremost, we designed our building to maximise natural ventilation. Using awning windows throughout has ensured we enjoy the cooling benefit of good air flow. The showroom also features state-of-the-art roof windows which can be opened to allow any excessive heat to escape.

Clever placement of a courtyard on the north side of the building overcame our problem with the solid brick wall on the boundary. It provides natural ventilation and light to rooms which otherwise would have had no windows and thus required artificial light and mechanical ventilation.

All external and internal windows are double-glazed, and all external windows have thermally improved aluminium frames. This ensures optimum insulation for heat and cold as well providing excellent sound insulation.

During winter we enjoy warm feet. Floor heat is provided to the ground-floor concrete slab via thermostatically controlled gas boosted hydronic (water) heating.

Each area of the building has wall-mounted or cassette type split-system reverse cycle inverter air conditioners. This allows for efficient control of temperature to individual rooms and offices. In the showroom each ceiling-mounted cassette can run as a stand-alone unit, giving the option to accurately control the temperature in various areas of the showroom. That means if winter sun is warming the east-facing portion of the showroom, the west end of the room may require only a small boost of heat.

About half of our power requirements are met by the 27 solar panels that sit on our roof and we sell any energy generated out of operating hours back to the power grid.

We also meet all of our water requirements, including the garden, with the 23,000-litre rainwater tank. Given that our car park swallowed up all of the space we had out the back, we built the rainwater tank underneath.