Brown Hill Creek House 2024

House Notes – Brown Hill Creek House

Completed in January 2023 in the hilly southeastern suburbs of Adelaide, Stefan and Emrys’ underground house uses earth as a defence against potential bushfire attack. After inheriting the land from family, they were keen to build there but were worried about the bushfire risk and couldn’t necessarily rely on fire services being able to defend the site easily, as the driveway was long, steep, and narrow, and so they chose to design the house accordingly. They also wanted a home that was cheap to run and easy to maintain, and that is when they enlisted the help of ShelterSpace, who specialise in earth-sheltered homes.

ShelterSpace believes that a properly designed earth-sheltered house is the most bushfire-resistant house available today because the concrete walls and roof are protected by earth with only one facade exposed – and this is where you focus all the fire defence. The lack of conventional roof space means there is no possibility of embers entering through the roof – one of the main ways traditional houses ignite and burn during bushfires. Earth-sheltered houses have thermal comfort benefits, generally maintaining an internal temperature of between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius without any need for air conditioning and minimum heating. The house is cut into a northeast facing slope for a favourable solar orientation. Stefan & Emrys wanted to add natural elements into the building and achieved this using recycled timber flooring and feature rammed earth walls.

Other features include:

  • BAL 40 rated thermally broken aluminium windows and fire shutters.
  • Built with passive house principles by an accredited passive house builder to achieve 7.6 Stars.
  • Over 150,000L of water storage is onsite for the dwelling to use with the stormwater used to flush toilets, water the garden, and firefighting.
  • Advanced Enviro-Septic and solar panels.

Sustainability Features

Years Open
2024
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Earth covering
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Geothermal
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Stormwater management
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • unsure
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Metal tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 150,000
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight

    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • Light Courts
    • Window Protection:
    • Eaves
      Shutters
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Sustainable materials:
    • 500mm sand on roof and earth mounding around 3 sides of the home.
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Floorboards
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Ceiling
      External walls
      Floor
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R3.5
    • Floor Type:
    • Wafflepod
    • Floor Rating:
    • Unsure
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R2.5
    • External Walls Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • Unsure
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • 1,000,000
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 218
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – 40: Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 40kW/m2
    • Roof
    • Green roof
    • Wall Materials
    • Brick veneer
      Concrete blocks
      Earthwall
      Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Rammed earth
    • Window and Door Types
    • Double glazing
      Louvre windows
      Sliding windows/doors
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Flush thresholds (no lip) to all external doors
      Hobless showers
      No stairs/steps
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Chickens
      Composting
      Drip irrigation
      Edible garden
      Frog friendly
      Orchard
      Organic
      Native plants
      Swales
      Water wise plants
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Recycle
      Repair
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
Location
Brown Hill Creek SA 5062
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Enduro Builders - Jackson Digney
    • Designer
    • ShelterSpace

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