Estuary Hillside House 2020

This profile is written and maintained by the homeowner, architect, or builder. You can ask them questions about their home in the comments below.

Location
Illawong NSW 2234
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Owner Builder
    • Designer
    • Envirotecture

About Estuary Hillside House

Charles & Christine had spent 20 years living in earth covered house beyond the city fringe, and when the needs of family called them closer in, they knew that a hot and/or cold house would drive them mad, but also that building another earth covered house was very unlikely. Yet they wanted to be as close to a natural site as possible, so a steep site deep in one of Sydney’s bushy southern estuaries was chosen. They approached Dick Clarke of Envirotecture once again to design their home.

The size of the suburban site meant a more conventional structure was the most practical design, but it had to be very thermally comfortable, as well as autonomous for energy – thus very energy efficient as well.

Originally designed for modular construction, a very dodgy builder was engaged who went broke leaving holes in the ground and a debit of $200k – thus Charles was forced to be an owner-builder and complete the house using his own management of subcontractors plus work on the tools.

The original design obtained a minimal NatHERS pass for BASIX (in NSW) of 5.5 stars, allowing for higher performance modular details to be decided later. Following the collapse of the first builder, the construction system reverted to a skeletal steel frame with highly insulated timber framed foam clad and foam backed infill walls floor and roof. The application of spray foam (polyisocyanurate or PIR) to all external walls and roof after lockup, and subfloor after installation of hydronic heating, gave a very airtight build. That combined with the double glazing, means the actual thermal efficiency is approximately 7.5-8.0 stars, but this has not been officially modelled.

Hydronic heating was installed under the timber floor structural sheet, in lieu of thermal mass. This has proven extremely over the years and dispels the myth that it can only be installed in concrete slabs.

View Featured Video

SUSTAINABLE FEATURES

Years Open
2020
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Heat recovery ventilation system
      Passive solar designed home
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Solar hydronic
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
      Hot water recirculation
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 0.065kL
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Poly tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 40,000L
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Adjustable Shading
      Awnings (external)
      Eaves
      External window hoods/surrounds
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Airtight construction details
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      External walls
      Floor
    • Floor Rating:
    • R2.5
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R5.0
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R4.0
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Energy star rating:
    • 5.5
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 5.13kW
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 7kWh
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $550,000
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • $40,000
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $10,000
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 214m2
    • BAL Rating
    • No BAL rating requirements at time of construction
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Insulated panels or blocks
      Lightweight construction (timber frame)
    • Window and Door Types
    • Casement
      Clerestory windows
      Double glazing
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
      Multi-generational
      Universal access
      Wheelchair accessible
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Flush thresholds (no lip) to all external doors
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      Lift/elevator
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      Slip resistant flooring
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Composting
      Native plants
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Chemical free cleaning products used
      Cross flow ventilation
      Formaldehyde free cabinets
      Heat recovery ventilation (HRV)
      Natural light and ventilation
      VOC free paints/sealer/varnish

Comments and Questions

Load More Comments

Add a comment

Name
Email
Comment
Leave Comment