Our project was kickstarted after we completed a sustainability building course, which inspired us to use the German ‘Passivhaus’ concept to design and build a simple yet, warm and liveable home with lots of interconnected outdoor spaces, which was adaptable and applied universal design elements.
In 2018, the Blinco Street ecohome was acknowledged as a finalist in the energy efficiency category of the Master Builder Housing Excellence Awards, with an 8 & 1/2 star energy rating.
Our vision to be carbon neutral through making more energy than we needed using solar PV panels (no gas connected) and using as many recycled materials as possible to achieve maximum sustainability with the smallest environmental footprint.
Our six main sustainability goals that we set – we achieved for our project:
1. Make more energy than we need; through a 3.25KW solar panel system on our roof, we generate twice the energy we need, and through the design of the house we use on average half the average house in Fremantle.
2. No artificial heating or cooling needed; we use thermal mass to capture and store the sun during winter in ‘green’ concrete slabs and recycled brick walls. Then through smart design of windows to facilitate breeze-ways, the freo doctor cools the house down in summer. Our home stays on average between 20-26 degrees Celsius inside all year around. [success]
5. Minimum water use & maximum water recycling; we are collecting as much rain water as possible from our upper roofs into two interconnected water tanks which feed the whole house (8300L). All water [apart from the oily kitchen sink water and toilet waste or black water], is used through showering, or washing clothes, then converted to then grey water and is filtered and pumped out in a drop irrigations system to feed our deciduous fruit trees and natives in our garden. [success]
3. Adaptable design; we’ve designed the rooms to create the opportunity for spaces to change, and grow with our lifestyle and maximise sharing potential. In Oct 2018, we’ve got our first child due, so the upstairs yoga room will be converted into a nursery, and the ‘buddha room’ ensuite we can convert into a self-contained guest apartment with own deck and entry access. [success]
4. Healthy air quality; we used low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints for walls and livos oil to seal the green concrete floors. Now living in the home, we only use natural products to clean with and Enjo products, keeping a BPA free environment indoors. [success]
6. Secure outdoor living on one third of our block; through building three outdoor decks (one above our garage, one outside the main living area, and the last outside the buddha room), we’ve made multiple outdoor living and relaxation areas with plenty of space for chickens and raised garden beds. [success]
We’ve worked hard over 2017 to plant a permaculture garden, which is still a work in progress, with raised wicking veggie beds to share with produce with neighbours, and natives to sustain local biodiversity.
New additions to our home in 2018, for those who visited last year are: a chicken hutch for Isa Brown chickens for free range eggs, and a slide next to our indoor stairs.
For any questions about the Blinco St. Ecohome – contact Jenita Enevoldsen on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Built by ‘Custom Green’ homes.
Inspiration & acknowledgements:
Josh Byrne – Josh’s house | Griff Morris – Solar Dwellings | Eugenie Stockman – The Green swing | Sid Thoo – Sid Thoo Architects | Dr. Christine Eon – Research Fellow, CUSP | “Your Home” – 5th Edition Encyclopedia of Sustainable Design, Australian Government guide | Sustainable Home hub | ATA’s Sustainable House Day