Future of housing: the lite’ idea that could help address accommodation shortages

A firm of architects on the Sunshine Coast has designed some unique homes that could help address the region’s housing crisis.

Local architects Habitance launched three ‘energy positive’ house designs at the Off Grid Expo at Goomeri, in response to housing shortages, increasing energy bills and the need for sustainable development.

Called the LiteHouse, the concept combines smart design, Australian-made sustainable materials and passive heating and cooling. They’re to be built by selected local eco-builders to ensure there is light impact on nature.

‘Energy Positive Architecture’ is the tag line of the 20-month-old business started by husband-and-wife team Alex and Ali Hoffmann during the pandemic.

Whether they design a house, community hall, station, or stadium, they are driven to provide buildings that produce more energy than they need.

The Litehouse original design.

The company’s objective for the LiteHouses aligns with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s ‘Housing for the Future’ and ‘Sustainable Design’ Strategies.

Alex, an architect with 30 years experience in London and Brisbane, explained the light-bulb moment behind the LiteHouse.

“Initially I wanted to offer an energy positive house design, as a sustainable option for people buying in subdivisions such as Aura”, he said.

“As the basic construction of the LiteHouse takes a week, it has less environmental impact on the site and then ongoing energy cost savings for whoever lives there.”

The feedback during design development was so positive that Alex designed three different-sized LiteHouses to market to environmentally-conscious home buyers, all with energy positive features and the option to be 100 per cent off-grid.

The LiteHouse Duo, designed for one or two people, was particularly suited for secondary dwellings and could be part of the solution to current housing challenges, especially as the design and materials allowed them to be built quickly.

Building several Duos together could be a practical option for retirement and community living, especially in semi-rural areas.

Alex said there was a need to provide a diverse range of housing to increase access to quality living and he organised a meeting with industry leaders to discuss this issue in October.

“We desperately need affordable and sustainable housing now, to retain key and essential workers in the region,” he said.

“So, zoning and controls need to support sustainable energy positive secondary dwellings to offer as long-term rentals.”

He said the LiteHouse demonstrated positive steps could be taken to ease the housing crisis, financially benefiting tenants and enabling the region to house the growing community for years to come.

Article source: www.sunshinecoastnews.com.au

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