This Herston house is less than 90 sqm but is so well designed it’s known as the Tardis. It’s an in-fill home built on once un-serviceable land. The house pays tribute to the Queenslander with one-half clad in horizontal, cypress weatherboards and the other vertical tin.
The three-bedroom, one level home was owner-built by a mechanical engineer, who’s an environmentally sustainable designer and a computer scientist. This means the summer to winter light has been tracked to hit the windows at a certain angle to either heat up the living room floor, or just the deck. In summer, on the north and south side of the house, external, wooden shutters slide over the windows to stop radiant heat.
The walls, floors, and roof are well insulated, with Phase Changing Materials (PCMs) in the ceiling to keep the air a constant temperature. Air vents from a heat exchanger run into each room for fresh, tempered air. The temperatures, battery, solar and consumption are shown live on a tablet, so you know how the house is performing.
The solid wooden floors throughout the home were once telephone poles. The Cadaghi tree that once stood on the block is now the kitchen benchtops. Linoleum, from linseed, covers the wet areas like toilet, bathroom, and butler’s pantry-laundry. All the paint in the house is zero VOC .
The house doubles up on space in two tiny rooms: the bathroom and study. The bathroom has an in-built bath with slats over the top to make a walk-in shower; solar hot water runs through a copper towel rack to heat your towels. The separate toilet has a handbasin over the cistern, so the water you wash your hands in also flushes the loo.
Other sustainable features of this home are;
- Large 1200 deep east/west eaves, with external operable shading to these facades
- Thermal mass via Phase Change Material (BioPCM) in ceiling
- Samsung 5.2kW Ducted System which covers whole house
- EcoHVAC Heat Exchanger 90L/
- 6.5kW Canadian solar panels
- 6.5kWh LG Chem Battery
- PhiSaver energy monitoring system
- Cypress (naturally termite resistant) wall frames, fascias and weatherboards
- Kennedy Timber recycled timber floor, deck flooring and cabinetry
- Demo yard hardwood for external shading and internal ply ceiling
- A and C/D grade plywood for cabinetry
- Ikea kitchen with homemade benchtops from onsite tree
- 3M tape, CSR tape and Proctor breathable building wrap
- Sealing Foam and Gun from AusUrethane
- Mythic Classic Waterbased Paint 0% VOC to most areas
- PhiSaver energy and temperature monitoring system via tablet to improve energy consumption
Over a year, 13 working, holiday makers (helpXers) stayed with the owners to provide free labour in a cultural exchange of language, and building. A family of three live in the Tardis, but it’s loved by many.