In our fourth edition we explored the remarkable 10-star energy efficient home in The Cape development, Cape Patterson – you can read about it here. Today, The Cape present a five-minute chat with Tony O’Connell of TS Constructions and feature pictures of the ‘Core’ home.
The Cape’s birth and development are from a culmination of experts who all have the same ethos in sustainable living, without compromising on comfort and quality. TS Constructions has carved out a successful career in creating smart and beautiful housing. They play a pivotal role in converting sustainable aspirations into reality.
What motivated you to be involved in The Cape?
I wanted to be involved with a project that was setting a new benchmark for housing across Australia and will become a demonstration project on how to plan, design and build whole sustainable communities, not just isolated pockets of sustainability.
Have TS Constructions always been involved with innovative design and building with a sustainable edge?
TS Constructions have always had an involvement with innovative design, however, it’s in the last eight or nine years that we have come to realize that as builders, we can have such a large impact on our environment.
What do you love about The Cape and Cape Paterson?
Being a long-term resident at Cape Paterson, I love the open spaces and the availability of great walking tracks and beaches, set within a friendly community.
What sorts of people do you think will be attracted to The Cape and its offerings?
The Cape will attract such a diverse range of people, from young couples through to the retired community. There is such a range of benefits offered that there really is something for everyone.
What do you feel is the problem with current housing in Australia?
Too much of the housing is being driven by building down to a price and poor design, not built to a sustainable quality. As a result, houses designed to be 6-Star are poorly built and would struggle to reach even a 4-Star level.
Do you think there is a misconception that being energy efficient is costly when it comes to home construction?
Several years ago, energy efficient design and product was placed at a premium. Now, with a general community acceptance and far greater utilization of double glazing and photovoltaic power generation, the costs have fallen significantly. Today, with clever use of appropriate product and design, the cost to build sustainably is only marginally higher than conventional building. However, with the savings made in ongoing running costs, a sustainable home pays for itself in a very short time frame and the occupants are soon better off both financially and in the comfort that their home provides.
What is TS Construction’s vision with energy-efficient housing for the next five to ten years?
A concentration of good design, combined with quality building practices will lead to more energy efficient homes. Energy efficiency and sustainability are great value adds to a house, if done correctly.
What do you think are the top five must-haves people should have in their home to be more energy efficient?
The key to energy efficient homes starts with good design. Other must-haves include open green space, PV power, stormwater reuse, quality windows and efficient appliances/hot water service.
Tell us about your career highlights and milestones that have helped you reach this point.
I initially started with a volume builder and worked for them for twelve years, commencing as an estimator and working my way up to project management. From there, I followed one of my other passions, the fire brigade and for three years I worked for CFA (Country Fire Authority) in a community development role.
Working in construction was always in the back of my mind, and after three years, I returned to building, starting at TS Constructions as an estimator. In 2006, an exciting opportunity came about to take a share of the business and I gladly jumped in as a Director.