Five things you need to know about sustainable building

Based in NSW, Life Panels is a construction material supplier company founded by James Cornell. Driven by sustainability, authenticity and genuine products, Cornell is a licensed builder and carpenter by trade and has spent the last twenty years researching and trialling better building methods.


Five things you need to know about sustainable building

By James Cornell, Life Panels


1. Sustainability is often misunderstood.

I believe in using products that are sustainable, not only in the way they are produced but also in how they benefit the end user and the length of time they last, therefore reducing waste and upkeep costs.


 2. Fabric First 

The building fabric is the very essence of a building. It is the combination of materials that make up walls, floors, and roof. 

We must learn how to be better at building. A good building fabric balances thermal performance, moisture control and overheating control.

Understanding the design and choice of material matters. Done well they will provide a more efficient home that is long-lasting, healthy and comfortable to live in. Which is surely the embodiment of sustainability?


3. Health 

Many “standard” building systems, materials & finishes leave you with a serious demise in indoor air quality, through off-gassing VOC’s and poor moisture controls. 

 A natural material like Life Panel’s wood fibre doesn’t rely on heavy chemicals and noxious adhesives. It provides a solution for a healthy environment, therefore improving the health of its occupants and builders.


4. The multiple roles of insulation

Builders opt for the highest R-rating at the lowest cost. They don’t take into consideration heat storage, density, low conductivity and true vapour permeability – key factors of good insulation.

The industry has failed to recognise optimal internal building conditions need insulation that connects all four qualities. Whilst there are some products on the market that have better components, they all fall short of wood fibre. 

 Life Panels wood fibre fulfils the multiple roles of insulation while locking up CO2 and using renewable materials. It is fast, simple to install and long lasting. 


 5. Passive House 

Due to the high quality nature of the wood fibre panels and their greater mass, they are also particularly effective at buffering heat by storing it during the day and dissipating it throughout the night. This makes them a time-tested solution to the growing demand for Passive House design in Australia.

The principles of Passive House fabric are insulation, low thermal bridging and airtightness. It takes advantage of the climate, good ventilation and sustainable materials to maintain comfortable temperatures in homes and buildings.

We hope that by drawing attention to the current state of compliance, it’ll invite others to reconsider the materials they’re using and opt for a better healthier alternative. 


To learn about Life Panels sustainable building solutions, visit their website at lifepanels.com , or meet James in person at The Conscious Space event, from March 13th – 14th at The Cutaway, Barangaroo

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