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7-Star Homes - An interview with David Principessa from ABN Group

Heartford, Donnybrook house and land package, kitchen v3.

How will the new 7-star energy standard affect new builds?

In 2022, state governments agreed to a new National Construction Code, which included higher energy efficiency requirements for new homes. We put together an explainer to give an idea of how the new 7-star minimum standard would affect you if you’re planning to build within Heartford in the near future.

To dig deeper into the Code changes, we spoke with David Principessa, the General Manager of Retail at ABN Group, a leading residential builder in Victoria. David gave us an insight into how the new regulations will influence the way builders approach new home design and construction, and how this could make a difference for those looking to build in Melbourne’s thriving north.

David is quick to confirm that ABN Group, which operates some of the most highly respected building brands in Australia, including Boutique Homes and Homebuyers Centre in Victoria, welcomes the introduction of the 7-star energy requirements.

“This is an important step to drive down our state’s emissions and further improve the building fabric of homes in Victoria” he said.

“Building energy-efficient homes has been at the forefront of our design process since our inception. As an example, our Boutique Homes premium inclusions include double glazed windows and high-performing insulation as standard, delivering great energy savings to customers. We’re excited to continue to deliver additional energy saving advantages as part of this program.”

David advised that although the new code is clear and provides specific guidelines, the inclusions and specification would be reviewed for every customer to ensure the home achieves a 7-star rating. The 7-star energy rating will take into account factors such as orientation of the allotment, design selections and upgrades, climate zone and selected colour palettes.

“Boutique Homes will provide an energy report specific to each home, to ensure we are meeting the 7-star requirements of every build.”

When compared with a 6-star home, a 7-star home uses higher rated thermal materials across exterior walls, foundations, roof and windows. These maintain and protect ambient temperatures inside the home and reduce energy consumption.

“For homes meeting a 7-star energy rating, it’s likely that the need to use heating and cooling devices will decrease, saving homeowners over the life of the home.”

As to whether a 7-star rated home will take longer to build than a less energy efficient home, David said there was nothing for new home owners to worry about.

“A 7-star home won’t require any additional construction time when you choose to build with Boutique Homes.”