Canberra Beach House: a Light House open from 10am - 1pm 2019

Canberra Beach House: a Light House open from 10am – 1pm
Wright ACT 2611
10am - 1pm
House Open Style
Open House – No booking required
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
Light House Architecture and Science
360 Building Solutions
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

This home is only open in the morning from 10am – 1pm.

Online tour here:

The client was Jenny Edwards, the managing director and scientist at Light House Architecture & Science, along with her partner David, a home-based author, and their two teenage boys. They wanted a new family home with two home-office spaces, and capacity for guests, all within a modest budget and footprint and on a small skinny block with north to the street. They also wanted a home that would be an exemplar of sustainable design and construction in a new suburb that was dominated by project homes. The home was intended to showcase smaller, smarter design to create a highly liveable, light-filled and light-footed home; a home that feels and functions like (or better than) most of the surrounding larger homes. It also demonstrates that good design can overcome ‘poor orientation’.

The clients grew up by the ocean and don’t get away to the coast nearly as often as they would like. They were determined to create a home that felt like a beach-side getaway. They were equally determined to create as much productive garden space as possible and the design needed to leave enough space for multiple types of fruit trees, and several raised vegie beds. With an EER of 8.2 stars and an air leakage rate of just 3.2 air changes per hour at 50 Pacals (5-8 times better than typical Canberra homes) the all-electric home used the same amount of electricity as a typical one-person household in Canberra.

Typical dual-fuel family Canberra homes use SIX times as much energy over winter and pay FOUR times as much in bills.

2018 HIA Australian GreenSmart Sustainable Home of the Year – Winner
2017 Master Builders Association ACT, Custom Built Home Less Than 150m² – Winner
2017 HIA ACT/Southern NSW, GreenSmart Energy Efficiency Home of the Year – Winner

Designed by Light House Architecture and Science and built by 360 Building Solutions


Years Open
Cost estimate of sustainable home/features
$40,000 for additional cost of double glazing, heat pump hot water, slab insulation and ventilation over cheaper standard options + architectural design fees
Total cost of home when constructed
Estimate of annual savings
4 person all-electric household with two teenagers that uses less electricity than a typical one person Canberra household (most Canberra households also have gas). Can see/read about first year of energy use here:
Universal Design Features
80cm minimum door opening width
Hobless showers
Shower head on rail for various heights
Washing machine/dryer on plynth for easy access
BAL Rating
BAL – 12.5: Ember attack with heat up to 12.5kW/m2
Roofing materials
Metal (Colorbond)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Brick veneer
Lightweight construction (timber frame)
Window and door types
Double glazing
Low-e, films
Pocket doors
uPVC frames, tilt-and-turn mechanisms on majority, lift-and slide door, high solar transmission lowE coating to all
Window and door shading
Deciduous tree/vegetation
Honeycomb blinds
Shade Sails
Solar pergola
Recycled and reused
Sustainable materials
Recycled plastic domes (Cupolex) used in slab construction. Paperock - recycled paper benchtops Clay commons bricks left raw Weathertex cladding
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Bulk - glass wool
Rating: R6.0
Insulation - Internal walls
Type: Bulk - glass wool
Rating: R1.5
Insulation - Under floor
Type: Bulk - polystyrene board
Rating: R1.0
Healthy home
Airtight house design
Cabinet design to minimise dust collection
Chemical free cleaning products used
Cross flow ventilation
Heat recovery ventilation (HRV)
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Natural light and ventilation
Natural oil sealer/finishes
No carpets
All electric home
Renewable energy
Solar PV off-grid
Size of PV system
Have a 3kW portion of the new Canberra Community Solar farm
Water heating
Hot water heat pump
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Passive solar designed home
Thermal mass
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Far Infrared heater panels - ceiling mounted: 600W in each bathroom, 900W in dining, 900W in lounge (dining and lounge units not used in 2019). Daikin 3.5kW US7 heat pump/reverse cycle system installed in lounge room in April 2019 as the only form of heating to living rooms. No heating to bedrooms.
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Tank
Size: 5000L
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Drip irrigation
Garden / Outdoors
Drip irrigation
Edible garden
Water wise plants
Average Daily Energy Consumption Per Person
3.5 kWh/day/person