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We recently caught up with Jesse Glascott, the owner of G-LUX Builders, at one of their certified Passive House projects, located in Warranwood in Melbourne’s East, on a sloping block, and in a BAL-40 Bushfire Zone, Jesse found Bowens to be a great partner to help him build this unique property. Using six of our innovative products, we assisted G-LUX to build on a sloping site with BAL-40 bushfire rating.

In 2014 Jesse started G-LUX Builders and was doing a wide range of builds such as renovations, extensions and new homes. In 2017 Jesse changed the way he built by focusing on building low energy consumption homes using sustainable building products. Concentrating on this as a niche has helped Jesse grow his business. Today G-LUX Builders is Melbourne’s leading Passive House builder, with now offering a Design and Construct service they intend to build eight Passive Houses in 2021.

Jesse explains that; “Passive House is a building method to the highest standard in energy efficiency.” Passive House originated in Germany in 1991 and has spread as a leading building standard worldwide since it is adaptable to any climate.

There are five key principles to Passive House:

  1. Sufficient and continuous Insulation of the floor, walls and ceiling
  2. Thermally broken windows which are generally triple glazed
  3. A thermal bridge free construction
  4. An airtight envelope which is certified via a blower door test
  5. A heat recovery ventilation system

Jesse explains that; “The benefits are that you have a super low energy home and you also have a super healthy home. People with allergies and asthma benefit because you have a ventilation unit circulating filtered fresh air throughout the building 24/7. The Warranwood home is accredited as a Passive House Plus building, this means the house produces as much energy as the household consumes through solar PV.”

Jesse knew he wanted to be a builder at the age of 16. He put up a sign at Bowens Croydon saying he was looking for an apprenticeship and a local builder called him up with an offer. At 20 he was qualified and at 21 he started his own business and opened an account with Bowens. 15 years later, Jesse still has an account with Bowens Croydon where it all started!

Tom Appleby is based at Bowens Croydon and has been Jesse’s Account Manager for the last three years. When Tom looked over the plans for the four-bedroom, three-bathroom property he noticed the architect, David Halford from Sustainable Building Design, had specified several products that are part of our innovative product suite. As Jesse hasn’t used a combination of these products on a Passive House before, Tom got Phil involved who is a Bowens Innovation Account Manager.

Phil explains that; “I’ve known Jesse for about five years. He’s always been a builder who is willing to try new things which is great! It’s really good that we’ve got builders that do this and Bowens loves being a part of it!”

So, let’s run through the six innovative products that Jesse used. Firstly, Masterwall K Series is a high-performance insulated wall cladding system. “The 80-millimetre panel gives you R4.0 insulation just from the panel itself and then we’ve also got our insulation batts. That instantly gives us a really good wall build-up. It’s BAL-40 rated which is what we needed, and the client was after a render look. It ticked all the boxes,” says Jesse.

Secondly, Dincel Structural Walling was used instead of traditional masonry blockwork for the retaining walls of the house and garage. This allowed Jesse to make the most of his carpentry team rather than rely on external trades, which was very useful in the middle of Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Dincel was a product that Jesse hadn’t used before and he liked the fact it could be used in wet conditions so there weren’t any delays during winter. He also said that; “On the sustainability side, it uses less steel and there is less wastage on site.”

Drizoro was the third innovative product that was used for cold joint waterproofing the Dincel. Jesse explains that; “One of our carpenters installed it in two to three hours. It was actually raining but you can use Drizoro even if the concrete’s wet.”

Phil recommended that Jesse used Astec paint, which is one of the few accredited systems to adhere to Dincel’s PVC base, and the fourth innovative product used. Unlike normal paint, Astec elastomeric wall coatings maintain their elasticity, which means it can stretch to cover minor cracking that may occur. Astec paint has been manufactured in Adelaide since 1978.

The fifth product was the steel frame of the rear deck from Spantec. “Everything was cut to size and the boys put it together in a day!” Rated at BAL-40 and termite-proof, Spantec is a popular choice for subfloors and decks in bushfire and termite prone areas.

Lastly, Weathertex UrbanECO™ Ecogroove 150 smooth boards were used to break up the rendered façade. The pre-finished boards in Monument® have a better than zero- carbon footprint and are made from 97% timber and 3% wax. Being pre-finished was a great time saver for Jesse and the low maintenance boards also come with a 15-year guarantee.

Tom said that; “As many of these products haven’t been used on a Passive House before, to provide assistance the reps went out on site to assist the G-LUX team with installation on the first day.”

Bowens has a dedicated Innovation team and we’re always looking for new products and to help with solutions for builders on site. Phil explains that; “We’ve done a lot of research and testing in the background so you can be confident our innovative products will be absolutely fit for purpose for what you need on that job.”

Whether it is Passive House, BAL-40, waterproofing or something else, if you are looking for a solution, come to Bowens and we’re more than happy to try and find an answer for you.

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