James Hardie on EnergyRaters Contributed Design

The Real Value of Design and Energy Efficiency

Using a mix of cladding adds richness to home designs and streetscapes. James Hardie sat down for a virtual coffee with Gilchrist Homes to find out their secret for getting the mixed cladding look right. The focus of our discussion was their head-turning, award winning Elwood Display home in Wodonga on the border of NSW and Victoria, which was designed in collaboration with Ausplan Group for their client Greenest House.

It’s important to work with the Built Form Design Guidelines provided by the council or developer. Typically, they don’t want insipid home designs. They want interesting house designs in a style that suits the suburb and makes a positive contribution to the street. Inviting streetscapes are good for the wellbeing of communities and house prices.

Gilchrist Homes build custom homes which aim to achieve a perfect balance of good design, energy efficiency and functionality.

Their approach to design is unique but effective. Leah Gilchrist, from the family business, is an interior architect. Naturally she’s responsible for beautiful and well thought-out the living spaces. Surprisingly though, she has a big influence on the exterior and tends to challenge convention.

Interior design works in layers. Start with a neutral wall colour and then bring in shape with interesting furniture. Then bring in texture with a rug or fabrics. Then bring in pops of colour with styling items like cushions.

Leah’s approach exteriors cladding seems to involve layers too. Take the indoor-outdoor entertaining area for example. To make the wall a simple canvas, Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding was used first. It has a subtle render texture which diffuses light giving the grey paint a contemporary matte finish. It’s calming and helps put emphasis on the shape of the building. To add texture and visual warmth, vertical joint timber cladding has been used. Then there’s the dominant feature, the sculptural metalwork. This will look even more spectacular when the deciduous vine grows up the horizontal wires to the roof peak and shades the outdoor area in summer.

Matt Gilchrist, Managing Director of Gilchrist Homes, says “While people love the look of our Elwood Display home, it’s rare we build the same house twice. We’re a custom home builder and we listen to the homeowner and build to the story of their family and contribute our expertise in design and energy efficiency”.

The Elwood Display home achieves a remarkable energy star rating of 7.7 with standard insulation and single layer glass. The Albury Wodonga area has hot summers and freezing winters which help demonstrate the thermal performance of the design.

What’s a Gilchrist Home like to live in? Kiah Beaumont, Construction Manager says “We aim for a high-end feel by being smart where we spend money. We invest more time in the planning phase up front and bring clients on the design journey so they understand the orientation and placement of the rooms and are confident with the finishes chosen. As a result, the build time is typically fast. As quick as just 4 months.

Gilchrist Homes are passionate about innovation. They were one of the first Victorian home builders to use Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding. They find designing and building homes to be a joyful and rewarding process. Even more rewarding since the Elwood Display home has just won “Best Display Home valued $350,000 to $500,000” in the Regional Building Awards held by the Master Builders Association of Victoria.

If you’re looking to build in the Albury Wodonga area and appreciate good design make an appointment to visit a display home here.

For more information about this home visit Greenest House here

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