Helen Lloyd-Martin talks sustainability – and how Hebel is the obvious choice for the eco-conscious

Helen Lloyd-Martin and her design firm 3D Environment (3DE) have built a reputation for eco-conscious design. The company, which Helen runs with her husband, Warwick Lloyd-Martin, operates throughout New South Wales and beyond ­– with their pavilion style homes not only stunning for their design but for the commitment to sustainability embedded into every stage of the process.

Hebel has become a core part of Helen’s sustainable design practice.

Helen first started working with Hebel more than a quarter of a century ago, and reminisces that the product was “quite unknown” back then, and she faced challenges finding specialists who could work with the material. Of course now with sustainability and energy efficiency issues being top of mind for many clients, and the natural advantages Hebel can offer to a build its popularity has grown enormously, which Helen welcomes.

“I’m not one of those designers who wants to impose my ego and my decision making process above the needs of the client. Ultimately each project is for them, the client, and you want them to be delighted at the end of the job. That’s your reward, when the client says “It’s even better than I thought it was going to be!”

Whilst many of Helen’s clients are in the fortunate position of having a higher than average budget to spend on their builds, she is quick to point out that the core principles she employs in her design practice to are accessible to anyone, regardless of budget.

Being mindful of site positioning, orientation and incorporating passive heating and cooling principles into the building design from inception can have a huge effect on a wide range of sustainability issues – from the amount of building waste generated during the build to the cost of heating and cooling the building throughout its life.

“We have a wonderful variety of materials creating variety, interest and great heat efficiency… We would recommend 3DE/Helen to anyone contemplating an architectural experience whether they are environmentally pro-active or simply wanting to be environmentally conscious.” – Rob & Jane, homeowners of a passive solar Hebel home by 3D Environment at a rural site in Kurrajong, NSW.

Helen describes using Hebel as a “no-brainer” due to its ease of use, speed of installation and the advantages it offers a build across the spectrum of eco-design.

Helen highlights the acoustic properties of Hebel as a highlight and a very compelling reason to use Hebel in her builds.

“The quality of a Hebel build is just outstanding – just really, really impressive. You walk into the home and there is just immediately a sense of serenity. The advantages of using Hebel, regardless of whether it’s blocks, panels or a solid wall is that it just ticks all of the boxes that I need it to. “

With builds in the Hawkesbury River area and throughout the Blue Mountains, the acoustic performance of Hebel protects occupants from the noise of their neighbours, which can often be in close proximity in built up suburbs. For builds in busy suburbs there is also traffic and aircraft noise to consider, all of which makes Hebel the obvious choice to enable people to enjoy a quiet and peaceful home.

Many of the homes Helen designs are in rural areas, with many having BAL 40 or BAL Flame Zone ratings, being situated in areas that have a high risk of bushfire. Some of her latest projects are fully autonomous and self-sustaining homes in isolated rural locations, requiring the complex strata of sustainability and legislative requirements to be balanced, along with the aesthetic and functional needs of the home. While these builds are undeniably challenging, they are also, Helen says, some of her most rewarding work, and she hopes that the principles employed in these homes find their way to the mass project home market sooner rather than later.

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