The exterior walls of the house going up this week has prompted several people to ask what material we’ve used and why.
It’s a CSR Hebel product called PowerPanel, which are aerated concrete slabs reinforced with steel mesh.
Being a masonry product it provides a solid, strong and durable wall as we’re used to with bricks, but with added benefits as shown below:
Benefits of Hebel PowerPanel
- It is generally cheaper overall to build with than bricks.
- Much faster to install than bricks, which is a great benefit for an extension.
- Outstanding thermal insulation qualities to save on energy heating and cooling costs
- Fantastic acoustic qualities, reducing exterior noise penetration
- Eco friendly – Hebel uses 64% less embodied energy to make and produces 55% less Greenhouse gas emissions than brick veneer
Friends have recently used it on their newly built 2-storey home and have commented how energy efficient PowerPanel has made their home. They rarely need to use any heating or cooling at all which is fantastic.
Using Hebel made passing the new 6 star Energy Rating Requirements for building consent easier too.
I originally thought it was a good idea to use PowerPanel because our entire house is going to be rendered. It made sense to start with a smooth surface rather than rendering over brickwork anyway.
But, once I discovered the other benefits of PowerPanel I was sold.
I can’t imagine using clay bricks again myself in the future. Of course we don’t wanna see our brickie friends out of jobs, but I guess like many other roles these days, they might need to diversify their skills to add “Accredited Powerpanel Installer” to their repertoire.
There’s resistance with any new products and processes we’re not used to, and I’m sure it’ll take several more years (especially in little ol’ Adelaide) for this type of construction to be the norm. It’s great though to see innovation in the building industry.
You can read more about Hebel products here: www.hebel.com.au
Have you used Hebel products? Or used alternative building methods? I’d love to hear about it.