Bergalia Straw Panel Home 2024

House Notes – Bergalia Straw Panel Home

This strawbale home comes with a twist – it is partly prefab and arrived on a semi. The 22 straw-infilled wall panels took just 4 hours to put together. We chose pre-fabrication because it is incredibly efficient (energy and $ saving) and for a house made of straw prevents issues with rain, mould, and mice. The internal wall frames and roof trusses arrived pronto after the walls, roof went on, doors and windows followed and within weeks there was a lockable house.

The house has a solar passive, energy efficient design plus various features to help it withstand threats of both bushfire (built to BAL29) and flooding. Strawbale walls have been tested by the CSIRO for their fire-resistance. (Lime render will not burn and compressed straw contains little oxygen to support combustion).

Passive temperature control was important in our design. In addition to the 400mm thick external walls, the internal walls and ceiling are insulated, doors and windows doubleglazed, there is lots of cross ventilation, and a fireplace (made with secondhand bricks) with heat transfer pumps. The floor is an earth floor over concrete.

This house has also been build with longevity in mind and we want it to live far beyond us. So we have an adaptive floorplan: it is a one bedroom home for us but can be internally reconfigured (with minor effort) to become a 3-4 bedroom home for future owners. There are secret doorway frames within some of the walls. It is also wheelchair accessible.

Locally sourced or repurposed hardwood was used where possible. Much of the exposed internal timber was milled, dried and dressed on site. Come and see our solar kiln! Internal doors and vanities will be made from own timber.

The house also features the world’s most expensive, small, fire-rated dog door.

Sustainability Features

Years Open
2024
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home
      Shading
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Split system airconditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Rainwater storage - Underground
      Stormwater management
      Drip irrigation

    • Underground rainwater storage type:
    • Concrete tank
    • Underground rainwater storage Size:
    • 100,000L
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Plastic tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • Total 55,000L
    • Water harvesting and saving
    • Dam water used for garden (not rainwater)
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Electric Vehicle Type
    • Nissan
    • Window Protection:
    • Verandah (full wrap around)
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Appliances
      Bricks
      Doors
      Excavated earth
      Toilet
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
      Internal walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • 4
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Reflective foil and bulk
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • 1.5
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • 2
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 180m2 (internal) with 130m2 verandah
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – 19: Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 19kW/m2
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Strawbale
      Structural insulated panels (SIP's)
    • Window and Door Types
    • Double glazing
      Louvre windows
      Sliding windows/doors
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
      Multi-generational
      Wheelchair accessible
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      No stairs/steps
      Ramps and path gradients must be less than 20:1
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Slip resistant flooring
      Tapware to be easily accessed from outside the shower
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 1
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Bee hotels/friendly
      Bird-nesting boxes
      Chickens
      Composting
      Drip irrigation
      Edible garden
      Frog friendly
      Greenhouse
      Local indigenous plants
      Permaculture
      Native plants
      Worm farm
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Make jams/conserves
      Pickle and preserve food
      Recycle
      Repair
      Swap with friends and neighbours
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Cabinet design to minimise dust collection
      Carpet free - tiles/concrete/timber flooring throughout
      Cross flow ventilation
      Lime render/wash
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
Location
Bergalia NSW 2537
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Viva Homes with help from the local tradies
    • Designer
    • Owners Susan and Murray

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