Affinity Windows and Shelford Quality Homes create 8.4 star home of the future

The National Construction Code (NCC) was updated in 2022, which increased the minimum levels of safety, health, amenity, accessibility, and sustainability that all new buildings need to achieve. This includes a thermal energy rating system, which increased from a six-star rating to seven.

Updated every few years, this means that the new rating in 2025 will likely increase further, possibly to an eight-star rating. This puts even greater requirements on energy-efficient homes, and more design and cost pressure onto builders.

In January 2022, Affinity Windows was in conversation with our client, Shelford Quality Homes, to discuss supplying window and door materials.

When we touched on the upcoming NCC changes, and the product initiatives and material designs we had in place to meet these changes, Shelford Quality Homes had an important question for us. They were in the process of designing a home that would achieve an almost ten star rating—could we provide window and door solutions that would help them achieve this?

The big idea

Shelford Quality Homes decided to put their capabilities to the test and build The Solaris, a display home in Vasse, that didn’t just meet the impending seven-star NCC rating—but aimed to achieve the highest NCC star rating possible.

It was a grand scheme, but as a residential home builder this came at the expense of… well, expense. Shooting for the stars (pun intended) was practically, sustainably, and financially prohibitive.

So they changed their focus, and instead aimed to construct a property that would set an example of what an affordable, energy-efficient home could look like in the near future.

Investigating options

We partnered with Shelford Quality Homes to determine the materials and products we could supply that would meet their needs.

Four weeks were spent in research and development, exploring different avenues and looking into solutions. We worked with commercial estimators, technical experts, and engaged our suppliers, Capral Aluminium and Walshs Glass, to discuss options on how to make the most energy efficient products at an achievable price.

Our initial option featured a thermally-broken window framing system, which provided an extremely high 8.4 star rating. But a system like this came at a steep cost, and would blow out budgets and timelines in such a way that wasn’t practical for the consumer.

So our team went back to the drawing board.

The Solaris (Shelford Quality Homes)
Photo: Silvertone Photography

Exploring a 9 star solution

After investigating our options, we realised that there was an easier way to go about it.

“It was an exciting challenge,” said Brendan O’Shea, Sales & Estimating Manager. “After running the numbers, we realised that we could leverage our established commercial product suite to deliver a high-end solution, while still keeping within the parameters of affordability and sustainability.”

We presented a solution to Shelford Homes that delivered a full Capral commercial window and door suite for the Solaris. This included:

Our window solutions featured Walshs Glass double-glazed high performance low-e glass, which helps to block infrared light from entering a room, helping to keep them cooler in summer. And with an argon gas solution in lieu of air, the thermal performance of the double glazing is even greater, further increasing the thermal insulation benefits.

Working in balance with the overall energy requirements and inclusions throughout the entire home, this proved a success, delivering an 8.4 star rating.

It was an exceptional result, and one that was achievable with better cost savings, shorter lead times, and an all-round more commercially available solution.

The Solaris (Shelford Quality Homes)
Photo: Silvertone Photography

Looking to the future

We’re proud to have helped Shelford Quality Homes build and deliver an eight-star-NCC-rated display home in a colder region, which enjoys much better energy efficiency than many modern homes. It proves that we can deliver solutions that create comfortable living environments, anywhere in the state, while still meeting future NCC updates.

As the codes change, and the focus on sustainable living increases, it’s a given that we’re going to see more homes built like this in the future. And the more properties that are built using these methods, the more available the products and materials will become, delivering more quality affordable solutions.

Shelford Quality Homes are pioneering the way in creating housing solutions that stay ahead of the trend—and Affinity Windows is proud to support them in this journey.

Create more energy efficient homes with Affinity Windows

If you’re looking to create energy-efficient homes at a price that’s sustainable for your customers, Affinity Windows are geared to help. Get in touch with us to discuss sustainable solutions for your new builds.

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