Heathmont House 2019

Heathmont VIC 3135
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Chosen Charity
    • Summer Housing (Disability Housing) www.summerhousing.org.au
    • Builder
    • Carbonlite (to lock-up, then owner builder).
    • Designer
    • Maxa Design

About Heathmont House

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This Melbourne home pushes the boundaries of Passive House design, employing prefab panel construction to help break away from the typical boxy form to capture views and sunlight on a tricky site.

The house is aligned with the sloping site’s contours for a more cost-efficient solution. Angling the house also provides views of the Dandenongs and brings northern light into the kitchen, dining and living area, and the lounge at the front of the house. The outdoor entertaining area is oriented to the north where the deck and landscaping – with native plantings, reticulated billabong and trickling stream – are visible to passers-by through the timber-post fence.

All living areas and the main bedroom suite and study are at street level for long-term useability into the homeowners’ retirement years, and stairs provide access to the lower level where there are two bedrooms for visitors, including interstate family. A glazed bridge that crosses the stream leads to a self-contained studio which also has its own separate entry and a private patio; this is intended for longer-term visitors, tenants or even a carer in the future if it ever becomes necessary.

The architecture of the finished home is distinctive. Four triangular sections peel up from the roof, creating lofty vaulted ceilings inside and featuring highlight windows for north-east sun and to purge summer heat. The angular ‘extrusions’ continue along the south-east wall, with a sawtooth profile housing windows to frame the outlook. Melbourne-based Carbonlite built the house using its Panellite prefabricated panel construction system for walls, floor and roof, a Passive House-certified product. This simplified the design process and certification of the home.

It is an all-electric home. Heating and cooling is via a 3kW split system integrated into the heat recovery ventilation system, which greatly reduces the size of the system required for a house of this size, and ensures even distribution. It was something of a trial system at the time, and the system designer emphasises that integrated air conditioning units like this are really only suitable for Passive Houses due to their very low heating and cooling requirements.

In fact, the heating and cooling demands of the house (respectively 12kWh/m2a and 11kWh/m2a: kilowatt-hours per square metre of floor area, per year) more than meet Passive House requirements.

Designer: Maxa Design
Passive House Consultant: Williams Energy Design UK
Passive House Certifier: Grun Consulting
Builder: Carbonlite
Photographer: Chris Neylon


This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 7 stars using NatHERS accredited software (FirstRate5). Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.


Years Open
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home

    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Air-tight construction - Certified Passive House.
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Heat exchange ventilation system
      Split system airconditioner

    • Active heating cooling:
    • Zehnder Q450 heat recovery ventilation system with 3kW Daikin reverse-cycle air conditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump

    • Water heating:
    • Sanden Eco Plus CO2 heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Above ground rainwater storage
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Corrugated steel water tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 13,500L
    • Storage connected to
    • Garden
      Whole house
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Adjustable Shading
      Awnings (external)
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Internal walls
      External walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Floor Type:
    • Kingspan Kooltherm K3 insulation board
    • Floor Rating:
    • R5.0
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Insulated panels
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R5.5
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R2.5
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R4.3
    • External Walls Type:
    • Bradford Gold Batts
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Energy star rating:
    • 7.0
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 2.8kW
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $1.6m including landscaping
    • House Size
    • House 293m2, bedsit 36m2
    • BAL Rating
    • N/A
    • Roof
    • Insulated panel (sandwich panels)
      Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Structural insulated panels (SIP's)

    • Wall Materials
    • Carbonlite Panellite panels
    • Window and Door Types
    • Clerestory windows
      Sliding windows/doors
      Triple glazing

    • Window and Door Types
    • Neuffer Eco Plano Passive House certified triple glazed
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
      Universal access
    • Universal Design Features
    • Hobless showers
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Slip resistant flooring
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 4
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 3
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Native plants
      Water wise plants
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Cross flow ventilation
      Heat recovery ventilation (HRV)
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation

    • Healthy Home
    • Cabinets: Nikpol Super E0 melamine faced chipboard & Ecolour EcoLiving interior paints