What exactly goes into Townsville’s most futuristic house?
Housing construction and technology – it’s not two words we see together often and it’s time to get real about that. Why? Because several things are moving faster than our housing technology. Like sloths, the line of succession to the British throne and moon phases. Just to name a few. Yet a Townsville-led initiative called Innovation House 2.0 is set to turn this slow progression on its head, creating the most futuristic and sustainable house our city has seen.
Rowan Blizzard from Finlay Homes is dropping truth bombs when it comes to our housing construction industry.
“Technology and how we live has dramatically changed in the past 30 years but our housing response hasn’t. If we continue evolution at the same pace the construction industry is going at the moment, we’ll be building museum pieces brand new,” he says.
The team now want to use the knowledge they’ve gathered from Innovation House 1.0 – which their founder Darren Finlay currently lives in – to construct more advanced housing solutions. “The [Innovation] House is showing consumers how good their housing should be, for no more cost than you’re paying now,” he says, immediately smashing through the first roadblock – money.
“There are six key topics that we’re focused on: energy, water, product, design, technology and health. In each area, we’ve tried to apply a best practice response without costing the person more,” he adds. Local and national companies are jumping at the chance to be involved, with Tec-NQ’s Industry Liason Officer for plumbing and construction, Ben Clarkson, saying he got on board to show the “tradesmen of the future” what building a futuristic house will look like in the years to come.
So, what exactly goes into Townsville’s most futuristic house? We can’t share too much just yet but we can definitely say that there are some world-firsts in there! One of those world-firsts is an Australian manufacturer who has taken the humble air-conditioner and completely revamped it.
“Everyone’s perception of air conditioning is talking about the temperature of your indoor air,” says Rowan. “This system doesn’t do that. It talks about the quality of your indoor air. Now that’s relevant if you suffer medical conditions like asthma or dermatitis. This system monitors and adjusts humidity, temperature and CO2 levels as well as eliminates mould… at a minimum,” he says.
If that’s not blown you away, the system is also being tested in an Asthma Australia house in Brisbane. Rowan says the laboratory monitoring the progress “hasn’t seen test results like this from other systems”.
“What they’re providing to the market just doesn’t exist at the moment. It is pretty incredible,” he says proudly.
Another amazing piece of technology is the efficient energy storage system, also being created by an Australian company, which allows households to reduce peak energy use and demand. Smaller power bills, same price house? I think a lot of people just took a moment to stop reading this article and tell their partners.
The rest of the house isn’t being left behind either, with Rowan noting that “lots of best practice responses” have been involved without making the house look like something out of Back to the Future: XV.
If you’re still a bit unsure, check out the house for yourself. The Stockland Land Sales Office will be using it as their headquarters in Display Village Five after January next year. There’s even an industry-first app that Finlay Homes have introduced. The app allows you to learn about the house’s technology as you walk through at your own pace.
If you fall in love with the house but want another builder on board, Finlay Homes won’t take it to heart or pretend they “lost” the plans when you ask. In fact, they’ll do quite the opposite.
“If your dad’s a builder and you want him to build your house, we will happily give your dad the plan, the details and the specifications to build your house,” he says. “There is a fee for that information. However, to develop that knowledge yourself, it would take years and costs that are multiple times higher. They’re only going to pay that fee when they make that building, so it’s a really simple model,” Rowan finishes.
Innovation House 2.0 is incredibly eye opening. If I had a dollar for every time I said, ‘this is amazing,’ I’d be able to outright buy one of these new houses. After all, savings on power, water and even money in the long-run at the same cost of a new generic house? You’d be crazy not to take that.
If you’re a tradie looking to save time, money and effort, consider checking out the new Townsville-made app built by tradies for tradies. It even helps out your clients – bonus!