Apple Crate Shack 2019

Apple Crate Shack
Flowerpot TAS 7163
10am – 4pm
House Open Style
Open House – No booking required
Entry fee or Donation
Gold coin
Donations supporting
Great Cycle Challenge - fighting kids cancer
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
AKA architects
R. B. Edwards & Son
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

Apple Crate Shack is an exploration of adequacy: the design is guided by needs, not wants. A modest footprint but generous volume satisfies all spatial and functional requirements. Circulation is succinct and efficient: strong connections extend spaces to engage with the surrounding landscape. The project is an investigation of ideas: the local fruit industry is referenced by the ‘apple crate’ aesthetic. All timber cladding was milled on site from trees that had to be felled. A limited material palette speaks of durability and economy.

The house is a successful demonstration of effective passive solar design principles. This project is about doing the simple things well. Orientation to exploit and employ direct solar gain: wide eaves protect the large double-glazed windows from the summer sun while allowing the winter sun to slip underneath and penetrate deep into the house. The insulated polished concrete slab stores the daytime winter heat for re-radiation at night. A modest 2.8k/w array of solar panels produces more power than required. The efficient heat-pump provides a boost on the rare occasions it is needed.

The project was also one of resourcefulness: second hand fixtures and recycled materials were sourced when available. The internal recycled brick wall includes salvaged, hand-cleaned bricks from three different sites and provides additional thermal mass. The multi-coloured roof is a variety of odd Colorbond sheets. This experiment saved some money while providing the necessities and a chance to experiment. Incorporating recycled and locally sourced materials has helped to reduce the environmental footprint of the project, in unison with the application of fundamental sustainable initiatives.

Donations on the day will go to Great Cycle Challenge
Designed by AKA architects
Photography by Jordan Davis

Read more about Apple Crate Shack in Sanctuary #45 – Back to Basics and architect Andrew Kerr Sanctuary #48 Designers in profile


This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 7.1 stars using NatHERS accredited software (First Rate5). Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.


Years Open
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
Total cost of home when constructed
Estimate of annual savings
Universal Design Features
80cm minimum door opening width
Contrasting colours and material for vision impaired
Hobless showers
Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
Minimum 110cm wide hallways
No stairs/steps
No Corner cupboards
Semi recessed basins
Space around toilets for ease of access in wheelchairs
BAL Rating
BAL – 19: Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 19kW/m2
Roofing materials
Metal (Colorbond)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Lightweight construction (timber frame)
Window and door types
Double glazing
180 degree opening doors
Window and door shading
Overhanging eaves
Recycled and reused
Recycled and locally sourced materials. Recycled bricks, hand-cleaned from three different sites. Odd Colorbond roof sheets. Second-hand hot water cylinder.
Sustainable materials
Timber cladding milled onsite from trees that needed to be felled.
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Bulk – glass wool
Rating: R4.1
Insulation - External walls
Type: Bulk – glass wool
Rating: R2.5
Insulation - Under floor
Type: Bulk - polystyrene board
Rating: R1.2 - R2.4
Healthy home
Cross flow ventilation
Natural light and ventilation
No carpets
Wax based sealer/finish
All electric home
Renewable energy
Solar PV grid connect
Size of PV system
Water heating
Second-hand electric cylinder
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Passive solar designed home
Thermal mass
Active heating cooling
Heat pump
Energy efficiency
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Water tank
Size: 11,200L
Storage connected to
Whole house
Garden / Outdoors
Native plants
Water wise plants
Waste Reduction
Compost all food scraps