Kurrajong Hill House 2020

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Location
Cobargo NSW 2546
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Owners Alan Burdon & Fiona Kotvojs
    • Designer
    • Owner designed and built

About Kurrajong Hill House

Kurrajong Hill is a home built of rammed earth, and straw bale infill to a timber frame of poles sourced on the property, as was most of the structural timber. It is two-storey with open plan living areas and a cathedral ceiling.

The straw bale walls are rendered externally with lime-sand render and coated with mineral paint. Internal rendering is clay-sand with clay paints used throughout, enabling a good air quality to be maintained. varnishes and oils for timberwork were all natural, eliminating VOCs.

Built on the highest part of a small cattle farm, Kurrajong Hill has views across national parks, for 50km to the Southwest Ranges. We built the home ourselves and took up residence in August 2010. We are entirely off grid, relying on solar power for all electrical needs. Our water is in tank storage from roof collection and we conserve it through the use of composting toilets. Grey water is treated and distributed to the orchard.

Water is solar heated via evacuated tubes. This is supplemented in winter by a Rayburn wood-burner, which also gives us cooking facilities. In summer we use a gas hob and electrical oven. All the timber fuel is from the property.

We incorporated strong passive solar elements to the design; with a northern sun room providing warmth in the winter and insulation in the summer. The main winter heating is through a masonry heater; the first of its kind in Australia and the cleanest, most efficient and most pleasant form of wood-burning available.

In a bushfire zone and impacted by the 2020 fires, all plantings near the house are fire retardant species. A spray system provides fire protection to the house and immediate surrounds.

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SUSTAINABLE FEATURES

Years Open
2020
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Under floor circulatory system and masonry heater
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
      Wood fire wetback
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Compost toilet
      Grey water system
      Drip irrigation
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 130L
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Plastic tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 210,000L
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Blinds
      Eaves
      Pelmets
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Other Insulation Methods:
    • Incorporated in roof material
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • No
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV off-grid
    • Size of PV system:
    • 3kW
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 250 m2
    • BAL Rating
    • No BAL rating requirements at time of construction
    • Roof
    • Insulated panel (sandwich panels)
      Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Concrete blocks
      Rammed earth
      Strawbale
      Stone
      Timber
    • Window and Door Types
    • Casement
      Double glazing
      Low-e, films
      Sliding windows/doors
      Tilt and turn
    • Universal design accessability
    • Multi-generational
      Universal access
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      No Corner cupboards
      Ramps and path gradients must be less than 20:1
      Rocker style light switches
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Slip resistant flooring
      Space around toilets for ease of access in wheelchairs
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 3
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Chickens
      Composting
      Drip irrigation
      Edible garden
      Frog friendly
      Orchard
      Native plants
      Wicking beds
      Worm farm
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Make jams/conserves
      Pickle and preserve food
      Recycle

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