Almost Passive House Goulburn NSW 2024

House Notes – Almost Passive House Goulburn NSW

Years of research about what type of new house we could have built – our very first new home after nearly 50 years together – lead us to Sustainable House Days in Canberra, which in turn showed us the benefits of living in a Passive House. We then had to learn what one of these homes actually was. We were lucky enough to find someone living in a Canberra Passive House willing to give us advice and support.

The house site already existed when we bought the land so it was easy to ensure the house was north facing with large glassed area to the north and smaller windows to the south. No window openings on east or west – our 60,000 litre water tank is separate from the house on the eastern side and the double garage is attached to the west.

We have triple glazed doors and windows, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, heat pump hot water (turned on for two hours a day), one small reverse cycle air conditioner which has not been used very much, 3.5 kw grid connected solar system, an electric car which is mainly charged at home, predominately Australian native garden, extensive wicking bed system for vegetable growing and a hot house constructed of reclaimed materials.

We opted for a small, simple, rectangular shaped home, Colourbond clad to look much like homes and sheds in the country. The house was built to lock-up, while fine woodworker hubby fitted out the interior with everything else – cupboards, vanities, laundry and waterproofing wet areas, all the painting, doors, robes.

We rely on water tanks for all water, we have no living lawn and have a septic system in place. Main water tank has a Storz fitting for bushfire authority access.
The build took one year and we eventually moved into our new home in January 2019 after four years living in a shed on the property.

Sustainability Features

Years Open
2024
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      External planting
      Heat recovery ventilation system
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Heat exchange ventilation system
      Heat pump
      Split system airconditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • As little as possible
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Water tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 160,000 Lt
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Electric Vehicle Type
    • Tesla 3
    • Window Protection:
    • Eaves

    • Window Protection:
    • Verandah on south side and overhang on north side
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Bathroom cabinets
      Benchtops
      Kitchen cabinets
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
      Internal walls
      External walls
      Floor
    • Ceiling Type:
    • All insulation under roof
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • na
    • Floor Type:
    • Wafflepod
    • Floor Rating:
    • Don't know
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • 75ml pink batts
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • 5.5
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • na
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • na
    • External Walls Rating:
    • 4.75
    • External Walls Type:
    • Bulk – polystyrene board
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 3.5 kw
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 4.6 kWh each
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $430,000 after interior fixtures and fittings installed. 2019
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • $327,680 paid to builder
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • Nothing to compare it to as we previously lived in a shed
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 185 m2 approx
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – 12.5: Ember attack with heat up to 12.5kW/m2
    • Roof
    • Insulated panel (sandwich panels)
      Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Metal (Colorbond)

    • Wall Materials
    • Fibro
    • Window and Door Types
    • Tilt and turn
      Triple glazing
      180 degree opening doors
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Hobless showers
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      Rocker style light switches
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 2
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Chickens
      Composting
      Edible garden
      Frog friendly
      Greenhouse
      Local indigenous plants
      Organic
      Native plants
      Water wise plants
      Wicking beds
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Book exchange/library
      Compost all food scraps
      Make jams/conserves
      Pickle and preserve food
      Recycle
      Repair
      Waste free/reduced construction site

    • Other Waste Reduction Practices:
    • No roadside garbage collection service so we sort our own and take to tip
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Cross flow ventilation
      Formaldehyde free cabinets
      Heat recovery ventilation (HRV)
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Natural fibre furnishings
      Natural light and ventilation

    • Healthy Home
    • Passive solar orientation with no openings east or west sides
Location
Baw Baw NSW 2580
    • Housing Type:
    • Small rural home on 40 acres
    • Project Type:
    • New Build

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