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Plenty, Victoria

The Challenges

After 40 years working in the building industry in a variety of roles from an architectural draftsperson to managing landmark commercial projects and capital works for local government, Dario Bolzonello was able to bring something outside the norm to the design and build of his one-of-a-kind family home. 

“When I designed the house, I had promised my partner that I would build her a walk-in cool room and freezer to eliminate the use of three fridges and 2 freezers. I thought if a cool room can have a temperature of -18 inside and 21 degrees outside, why couldn’t I build an entire house using the same principles?” Dario said. 

The 2.4 x 2.4 walk-in coolroom and the 1.5 x 1.5 freezer is included in the final design. 

After visiting Bondor, Dario discovered the Codemark® accredited LuxeWall® architectural luxury walling system and he knew he had found what he was looking for. 

“I had the plans and vision, Bondor had the product. Unlike standard cool room panels, LuxeWall® offers 900mm wide panels at any length and the finish comes with a range of Colourbond Matt & Metallic finishes. Bondor could also supply folded external corner modules, finished with a concealed fix ‘UniSmart’ architectural trim and capping system,” he said. 

“So, I decided to build the exterior of the house and the eaves entirely from LuxeWall® panels.” 

As seen on Open Homes Australia: Season 4

The Solution

Dario designed and built the unique 509m2 home over a three-and-a-half-year period from 2017, working on the home part-time in the first year and half and completing the home full-time after his retirement in 2019. 

Located in the town of Plenty to north-east of Melbourne, the home was designed around fully tiled concrete pool / spa with four water jets and LED strip lights throughout the pool and surrounding spotted gum decking. 

“We used LuxeWall® for the vertical panels in both Surf Mist and Monument colour finishes, while for the horizontal façade, the panels were ordered to size with the only cutting needed for the mitre joint on the corners,” Dario said. 

“The panels were so quick and easy to install, my brother-in-law and I were able to fit them together without needing any other tradesmen. The panels also eliminated the need for external stud walls; all I needed was 20mm battens for the plumbing and electrical. 

“But by far the most attractive feature of LuxeWall was that it creates a complete thermal shell for a perfectly insulated home.” 

The finished home needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. Design features include 3.6m high steel front doors with double-glazed windows, a cinema room, 3m high ceilings throughout most rooms with a 3.6m high coffer ceiling in the lounge dining area.  

A 3.6m long fireplace in the lounge is suspended 150mm off the floor to enable the return air from the air con units past the fire box to heat the room. 

The home includes Cbus automation, which allows programming for any switch any area. It also features a Holiday Mode, which when activated, allows the internal and external thermostat to open the high bay windows to control the temperature without using air-conditioning equipment. 

LuxeWall®’s high performance integrated insulation delivers superior thermal performance helping to lower energy usage from inefficient heating and cooling that in Australian households contributes up to 40 percent of a resident’s energy bill.