In this article, we reflect on the amazing work we’ve done to ready ourselves, our clients, and the industry for a stronger 2020. Our purpose at Lou Projects is to educate people on building better, more sustainable and energy-efficient homes.
WHAT WE LEARNED IN 2019
As energy and water costs increase, and with the growing community awareness of the climate changing, we need to learn more about how we can build homes to adapt to these climate changes and to future proof our homes as much as we can.
Lou Projects exists to help anyone that is looking at renovating, extending or building a brand new healthy & sustainable home. We are excited to share our progress, challenges and celebrations of 2019, while also highlighting our aspirations for 2020. Thanks to our partners, the industry specialists, and our team we are ready and looking forward to this year!
SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION & WASTE MANAGEMENT
Managing waste has always been an afterthought when it comes to construction, some simple techniques to reduce our waste has been important to us and doesn’t take too much extra time and can actually save you money. There are also skip bin companies out there that sort all the waste back at their dumpsite to an extent if you don’t have the capacity for it on the construction site. We’ve had to ring around and confirm what skip bin companies do this.
The best strategy for the Lou Projects team on site is to set up a waste allocation area, which is fenced off completely to control the waste from spreading on site. We have signs also so the team and subbies nowhere to allocate these waste items. These are separated into categories such as – Landfill, metals, cardboard, concrete/bricks and soft plastics. This helps us with the process of taking the waste to the right recycling points at either the local tip or private recyclers.
SUSTAINABLE DESIGNS FOR HOMES
Understanding design and its appropriate methods to reduce energy bills have been a huge part of this year’s education. We’ve found that a great majority of Australians live in homes that work against the climate and not with it. These homes are too or too cold, waste energy and are comparatively expensive to run. Most of these homes are made of materials that damage our health and the environment and will use far too much water than necessary.
Using good design principles and working closely with architects to ensure the budget works can save energy, water and money while creating a more enjoyable and comfortable home. We also understand that a well-designed home will perform best when the owner/operator understands its functions, therefore educating our clients on this has deemed to be just as important.
AWARD FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY FROM MASTER BUILDERS AWARD 2019
We’ve been privileged enough to have received a Master Builders award for Patrick House for the category of ‘energy efficiency and environmental sustainability’. It has been great to have been recognised for some of the hard work that goes into designing, planning and building a project like this.
Luke our apprentice also won ‘Apprentice of the year’ at Tafe, it just goes to show all the hard work and his love for learning has paid off. Two solid achievements and we are extremely proud, what an incredible year!
A FUTURE-PROOF TEAM
We are so proud of our team and the subbies we work with. Our team members are long-standing and are getting into the rhythm of our slightly different approach to some building methods, in particular the materials we use and how we appropriately install them so they perform at their best. The Lou Projects team have their own attributes that play a significant role in the team to ensure peak performance and minimal clashes. Kieran is our team leader, generally setting a good tone no matter how tough the day can be. Dean is the carpentry specialist, focusing on the finer details, along with great banter. Luke is our mature age apprentice, but is so passionate and thrives off learning, he can also hack the banter the boys throw at him!
BUILDING MORE HEALTHY, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOMES
We’ve built two beautiful homes this year, among other renovations and extensions. There have been some huge learning curves with these projects but has made us more the wiser. What would seem to be a reasonable achievement, based on what we’ve learnt this year we feel that this is just the start, and we’re excited to work on more complex projects with a huge focus on client communication and transparency.
We’ve also been a part of a number of seminars and courses, ie sediment control methods, passive house design basics – Lou Projects are also an HIA Greensmart Builder, the course provided practical and cost-effective solutions to building more sustainable homes along with providing a more in-depth understanding of thermals ratings and the appropriate applications of materials.
OUR VISION FOR 2020 AND BEYOND
2019 was a challenging and exciting year. We overcame challenges together with the Lou Projects team and our partners. It has positioned us for a stronger new year and a promising 2020. Thank you to everybody who made 2019. To our clients, partners, experts, team members, and everyone in between, thank you.