Andrew Rottinger on how Hebel balances housing comfort and affordability

With over 25 years’ experience in the Building Materials Industry in Australia, CSR Hebel General Manager Andrew Rottinger discusses the development of Hebel as a system that caters to the needs of the Australian consumer:

What do builders and buyers want from a home? When answering this question, most people will put affordability and comfort high on their list of requirements.

This combination of needs is often perceived as having the potential to create an immediate clash of objectives, with people believing that to get better than average comfort and performance from a home they will have to pay more to create or buy it. In other words, they see the equation as: “High comfort and performance = higher costs.”

This, however, does not have to be the case. In fact, with some thought and persistence, that theory can be turned on its head.

Reducing complexity

Adding extras to a home may improve it but can also add to its cost. We prefer to improve a home, and yet make it more affordable at the same time, by reducing complexity in the way it is built. For example, by developing systems that can be installed with machinery, we offer advantages such as reductions in labour, skills, components, waste and the time needed for installation.

We have also reflected on the fact that the appearance of a home is a matter of importance for buyers. In relation to this, we were aware that many people preferred homes with a contemporary rendered look as opposed to face brick, but that they were discouraged by the higher cost of a rendered home.

We therefore set out to address this design aspect with such success that we are now able to provide a rendered home with the look and feel of masonry for a similar price to face brick. In addition to this, the use of Hebel ensures better thermal, fire rating and acoustic performances as well as a lower environmental impact –all for no extra cost

These are just two examples of how, by giving thought to better ways of building and then deciding to implement these ways, we are addressing the needs of consumers by helping to improve homes while also keeping them affordable.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Andrew Rottinger’s series on why Hebel is a better way to build.

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