This home was designed exactly how we wanted it, to be a comfortable, functional space that met our family’s needs now and into the future. Designing a solar passive home was always a top priority, to reduce our ecological footprint and save money in the long-term. The universal access features of wider doors and no steps makes the home more user friendly, especially during the morning rush in the bathroom, when there are (too) many cooks in the kitchen and moving furniture. We also wanted the home to have a bit of character and the handmade bricks add that special uniqueness.
Coming from a previous home where there were air conditioners and heaters, just having ceiling fans feels so much healthier as well as being cost effective. The heat pump water heater is very efficient and is powered solely during the day by the solar PV system. Using rainwater in the toilets and washing machine most of the year makes perfect sense. At a size of approximately 270m2, our four bedroom, two bathroom home is a modest size but with lots of storage and no long corridors, there is no wasted space. The open plan living area is the central heart of the home, with the main bedroom and study on one side and another door to two bedrooms, activity space, bathroom, laundry and toilet on the other side.
An adjustable vergola regulates sun coming through the north facing living room windows and sliding door. It is mainly closed throughout the warmer months and open throughout the cooler months (apart from closing when it rains). The vergola also provides a great space for outdoor living. Built in pelmets and block out curtains on the north side also assist in keeping the heat out during summer and the heat in during winter. In time, the deciduous trees planted will provide natural shade to the north facing windows. The native gardens are growing well and are very low maintenance. There is a small, functional area of lawn in the backyard for outdoor fun and relaxing. We hope you will be able to get some ideas and be inspired to start your own sustainable home journey.