Case study: residential apartment

New build / Grade 1

There are a handful of builders who build a good quality unit above the minimum BASIX or NCC standard. Their clients tend to be owner occupiers rather than renters.


Provide a high level of performance without being too over the top.


With projects like this, the attention to detail is noticeable, the sites are well organised and schedules dependable. Using PIR boards below and XPS above the balconies results in a maximisation of performance with minimum space. The building is airtight and well insulated, with little or no chance of condensation.


These projects are properties looking to meet most of the ideals for energy efficiency. Good examples would use a minimum of R2.5 extruded polystyrene above the slab, have a breather membrane fixed to the lightweight frame and R2 PIR fixed to the carpark soffit.

The documentation has normally been assessed to Australian Standards by an ILAC recognised laboratory.

Builders and sub-contractors will be notified by the construction manager and architect not to use foil as an insulation product.

Rectification grade

Normally, I would advise my clients and family to avoid buying units that have no insulation above the slab, or use bulk fibre below the slab. The walls often have no insulation and there will be a damp smell on southern rooms. In general, it feels colder inside these houses than the external temperatures. As a result, some of these builders are no longer operating.

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