QUICK FACTSProject// WarriewoodBuilder // Icon Homes - Avora 34Photography // Alexander MayesFeatured Products// Bristile Roofing Solar Panels
Beyond net zero: why this Sydney display home is the future of solar energyAn innovative solar setup with no unsightly panels gives the Avora 34 display home a competitive edge.Rooftop solar is nothing new in Australia, but it’s only recently that the technology has caught up with the hype. Now, thanks to manufacturing advances in Europe and a smart new design by Bristile Roofing, it’s possible to slash your energy bills – and even make money by selling electricity.
Bristile’s solar roofing solution is a key feature of the sleek new Avora 34 display home by Icon Homes on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.The home has been constructed with a flat roof, allowing for the discreet installation of the solar panels so they are invisible from the street.The Avora 34 is energy efficient, too. It has been designed to achieve a “net zero” rating, which means the house will produce as much electricity via solar as its occupants consume on a day-to-day basis. Homeowners who use less-than-average amounts of electricity can even achieve “net positive” status and sell their excess electricity back to the grid. The Bristile system consists of three major components: the solar panels themselves; the inverter, a piece of equipment that transforms solar energy into useable household electricity; and the battery, which stores excess electricity for use when the sun isn’t shining.
“When we began the process of establishing a solar offer, we were very mindful of putting together a system that contained quality components,” says Kathy Taylor, Roofing Solutions Manager at Bristile Roofing.“For example, the inverter is an integral piece when it comes to solar and we supply a quality Fronius inverter that has a 10-year product warranty. Our solar panels are by Suntech, which is a tier-one supplier to the solar industry, and the battery we use is by Sonnen, a German manufacturer that has been making batteries for home energy storage for 10 years.”Based on all of this, Bristile Roofing provides a 10-year installation warranty for its solar system and battery.
It’s important to note that a net-zero home doesn’t necessarily mean a zero electricity bill. You may still need to draw power from the grid at times when your panels are not operating and your battery is empty. But your bill will certainly be much lower than it would be otherwise – and, if you are generating excess energy during sunny periods, you can sell it back to the grid and use the proceeds to offset your bill.Every household’s energy needs are different, which is why Icon Homes and Bristile worked with Brad Hoad of Thermal Performance, who developed a net zero calculator to help assess those needs. The three companies collaborated on the Avora 34 to see how net zero could be implemented in a real-world scenario.The calculator combines the home’s Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (or NatHERS) rating and analytics on fixed appliance usage to determine the home’s likely consumption of energy over a 12-month period. The calculator can then specify what size Bristile solar system is required to achieve net zero.
The Avora 34 display home and Bristile solar roofing solution prove that sophisticated design and energy efficiency needn’t be mutually exclusive.“The beautiful interiors are a testament to Icon Homes’ knowledge of current design trends,” says Taylor. “Their passion for detail and craftsmanship is evident in the use of beautiful stone on the façade, the floating timber staircase, the use of vertical cladding as a feature throughout the home and the stunning timber ceiling in the upstairs living room.”All this has been achieved without jeopardising Avora 34’s net zero rating. Taylor adds: “Icon Homes should be very proud of this home. It has really set the benchmark for display homes across Sydney.”