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23.03.2015, Frenchs Forest

Landmark win for wood heating allows greenies to bask in the flicker of the flame

SCHOTT ROBAX® glass ceramic viewing panels feature in a variety of fireplaces and stoves
Comfort for every home with SCHOTT ROBAX®.
Comfort for every home with SCHOTT ROBAX®.
The Australia Commonwealth Government’s chief scientific agency’s CSIRO has finally put paid to the debate about which method of home heating is best from an environmental perspective, with new research* revealing that firewood produces less greenhouse gas than all other domestic heating options.  The CSIRO findings were backed by accepted national and international protocols for assessing greenhouse gas emissions from biomass.

This compelling research has seen the NSW Government introduce changes to its Building Sustainability Index system (BASIX) awarding a very low greenhouse gas emission rating for residential wood-fire heating, thus confirming that wood heaters not only have lower emissions than a 5 star gas heater or a 6 star reverse cycle air conditioner, they are in fact better than every other type of domestic heating.

Meeting the tough BASIX ratings when you build or renovate is now so much easier with the simple addition of a wood heater to your design; particularly given the abundance of wood fireplaces available, spanning state-of-the-art and modern free-standing wood heaters to traditional hearths.

The somewhat overwhelming choice of models now available provided the catalyst for SCHOTT Australia to create - a one-stop-information-shop for the growing number of consumers who do their initial research online.  It provides a comprehensive catalogue of fireplaces from classic to contemporary together with a list of retailers and a great resource of useful fireplace information.

Lesley Aitkin, Marketing and Sales Director at SCHOTT Australia explains the practicalities of the site saying, “Where fireplaces are concerned the latest are literally the greatest, making the atmosfire site equally beneficial to those upgrading existing fire places as newbies.  Unlike modern wood fires, fireplaces manufactured before 1992 don’t boast the range of technological advancements and design changes to ensure improved efficiency and performance. A traditional wood fireplace could potentially heat 50m², but there are slow combustion fireplaces on the market which could potentially heat 250m² in the right home, while using at least 30% less fuel. So you can heat far more space with a great deal less fuel. Slow combustion fireplaces are fantastic appliances.”

She continues, “Adding the advanced technology of SCHOTT ROBAX® glass ceramic windows means you get to see the flames while still enjoying the increased efficiency. We‘re helping households maximise the heat from every log while enjoying the beauty of their fires. We love that it is great for their hip pocket and great for the environment too.”

According to Lachlan Gales of the award winning Ovens and King Builders, fireplaces are an easily installed, functional and efficient design feature that adds warmth to a home and boosts its resale value. 

“Around 60% of my clients are now requesting a fireplace. It’s a very easy addition which brings warmth and charm to a space, and adds both livability and monetary value to any home.   Sustainably harvested wood used in airtight, slow combustion wood fireplaces provides terrific energy efficiency and reduces costs.” explains Lachlan.

Designers, architects and builders are increasingly using the platform to find fireplaces that enhance living spaces while also reducing their carbon footprint.  Increasingly modern fireplaces incorporate the advanced technology of SCHOTT ROBAX® glass ceramic windows into their design, making flame heating exceptionally efficient and safe while maintaining the spectacle and romance of the naked flame.

Chris Bligh, architect at Bligh Graham Architects, explains why incorporating a modern fireplace into home designs creates both aesthetic charm and is a functional asset to a living space.

“Often the fireplace becomes the ‘hero’ of the living space not through stylistic dominance but in a more reticent way through the captivating nature of the flame and its ability to incite the social interaction so often lost in a room where the TV is the hero,” Chris says.

The Australian Home Heating Association says the CSIRO research and the BASIX response from the NSW Government places wood fired heaters in front of other forms of domestic heating in terms of affordability and caring for the environment. Meeting those tricky BASIX building regulations could be as easy as choosing a wood fireplace.

“And with a range of contemporary designs to suit your home, lifestyle and budget, installing a wood heater means you can heat your home with the knowledge you’re being environmentally responsible,” says AHHA General Manager Demi Brown. “This means enjoying efficient, affordable, responsible warmth for many years to come.”

The AHHA offers a range of top tips for the safe, efficient and affordable use of wood heaters including:
  • Make sure the wood heater is properly installed by a qualified installer.
  • Get your wood heater serviced each year in spring or early summer.
  • Use kindling wood, paper and firelighters to get the fire started.
  • Add larger pieces of wood only after a bed of hot bed of coals has been established.
  • Leave air controls open for at least 15-20 minutes to start the fire burning and when re-loading.
  • Don’t close air supply totally overnight – a little air avoids a lot of smoke.
  • A wood heater will burn better with three or four smaller logs rather than one or two large ones.
  • Insulate your home, close doors and curtains to conserve heat but allow enough fresh air for efficient combustion.
*FAA e-newsletter & Meeting Reminder 24th June 2014.

The “atmosfire® – make your house a home” initiative was founded in Europe in 2008 by SCHOTT ROBAX®, one of the leading manufacturers of fireplace panels. Two years ago, the initiative was also introduced in Australia. Seven Australian companies are participating: SCHOTT Australia, Barbeques Galore, Jarrahdale Heating and Cooling, Jetmaster Fireplaces, Rinnai Australia, Sampford IXL Cannon Gas Log Heaters and Shamic Sheetmetal. The first Australian online service platform for fireplaces and stoves can be found at

SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics. The company has more than 130 years of outstanding development, materials and technology expertise and offers a broad portfolio of high-quality products and intelligent solutions. SCHOTT is an innovative enabler for many industries, including the home appliance, pharmaceutical, electronics, optics, automotive and aviation industries. SCHOTT strives to play an important part of everyone’s life and is committed to innovation and sustainable success.  The group maintains a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 35 countries. With its workforce of approximately 15,400 employees, sales of 1.87 billion euros were generated in fiscal year 2013/2014. The parent company, SCHOTT AG, has its headquarters in Mainz (Germany) and is solely owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. As a foundation company, SCHOTT assumes special responsibility for its employees, society and the environment.

atmosfire® and ROBAX® are trademarks of SCHOTT AG.

Sales contact SCHOTT in the name of atmosfire®:
SCHOTT Australia Pty Ltd
Lesley Aitkin
Sales and Marketing Manager

Ground Floor
Unit 5, 4 Skyline Place
Frenchs Forest
NSW 2086, Australia
Phone: (+61-2) 8426 1605 Fax: (+61-2) 8426 1666 Mobile: (+61) 425 202 502
Comfort for every home with SCHOTT ROBAX®.
Comfort for every home with SCHOTT ROBAX®.
Press contact
Michael Müller
Public Relations Manager
Hattenbergstraße 10
55122 Mainz
Phone: +49 6131/66-4088
Further information
Salvatore Ruggiero
Vice President Marketing and Communication
Hattenbergstraße 10
55122 Mainz
Phone: +49 6131/66-4140