Loretta’s Generational Home 2023

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House Notes – Loretta’s Generational Home

After retiring as an RN and 40 years of practice and having raised four children, divorcing and caring for my elderly father who has since died, I re- evaluated what I needed to live comfortably, now, at 60. I wanted a much smaller low set home that was secure, future proofed, easy to keep clean and low maintenance.

This house was built on land left to me by my father after his death. It’s a 600m2 corner block in suburbia. The land is long and narrow and primarily East/south east facing. It was a knock down and build situation due to the asbestos and white ant damage to the original home although I reused as much as possible of the old joists for fencing and various bits and pieces in the new house.

The house was orientated and designed to have as much of the living space, north facing and as little western sun as practical. A basic solar passive design was used that was sympathetically styled in a midcentury aesthetic as was the original 1950s home. The main house is steel framed and has three bedrooms all with DC ceiling fans. There are two bedrooms, an ensuite and a modest centrally placed main bathroom.

There is a centrally placed internal garden atrium for healthy air quality throughout the house, as a thermal chimney and in keeping with the midcentury style. The lounge, dining and kitchen is one large open plan space at the northern end of the house. Out from the living space is a generous covered al fresco area with ceiling fan. This is connected by a covered ramp to a separate carport/laundry/studio apartment at the rear of the property.

The studio is used by family and visitors but can also be used as passive income if required. Ultimately it will be used by me as I age and as I need a higher level of care. The home is well insulated by south east Queensland standards and I have used as many sustainable, low VOC and Australian made products as possible and available.

Externally, Weathertex and Cemintel Barestone prefinished panels have been used with a light coloured corrugated Colourbond insulated roof. All the window are 6mm toughened E Glass with high east facing louvers to catch the prevailing eastern sea breezes. The limited western windows all have external movable aluminium louvers to control the afternoon solar gain seasonally. The floors throughout the main house and studio are burnished concrete for ease of cleaning and thermal mass (no, they are not slippery!).

The home is an all electric home using energy efficient whitegoods and appliances. The house is wired for three phase power to maximize F.I.T. of solar energy generation and the carport has been pre wired for an EV in the future. The studio is separately metered should that be required. There are 38 high efficiency solar panels on the roof with a three phase smart meter and 10kw solar inverter. I am currently in credit to my power provider. The main house has a heat pump hot water system and only two RC air conditioners. There is another in the studio. There are three rain water storage tanks with a total of 7,500 storage capacity.

The lounge and dining furniture is recycled and refurbished 1950’s Australian Parker furniture originally belonging to my late father. The hardwood joists from the old house have been used as fence posts on one side. The front porch and back deck are made from certified reclaimed spotted gum planks.

To finish, I make many of my own cleaners and hand, body and face moisturizers and grow my own fruit and vegetables. I also keeps free ranging chickens and a rescued native bee hive.

This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 9.3 stars using NatHERS accredited software. Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.


Years Open
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      External planting
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal chimney
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Heat pump
      Split system airconditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground

    • Average water consumption per day:
    • ?
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Poly tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 7,500lts
    • Water harvesting and saving
    • Water wicking edible garden beds. Extensive soil mulching to all of interior yard space.
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Adjustable Shading
      Awnings (external)
      Shade Sails
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Furniture. IBCs for wicking garden beds, old bath for a water herb garden, mirrors, kitchen stone bench tops made from recycled mateials, some crockery.
    • Sustainable materials:
    • See previous description
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Bath
      Bathroom cabinets
      Excavated earth

    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      External walls
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R5.0
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Reflective foil
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R 1.3
    • External Walls Rating:
    • 2.5
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 10kw
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 14.9 MJ/m2
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $600,000
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $2000
    • House Size
    • 247.7 m2 total
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – 12.5: Ember attack with heat up to 12.5kW/m2
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
      Solar tiles
    • Wall Materials
    • Lightweight construction (steel frame)
      Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Metal (Colorbond)
    • Window and Door Types
    • Clerestory windows
      Louvre windows
      Low-e, films
      Sliding windows/doors
      Stacking windows/doors
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
      Universal access
      Wheelchair accessible
    • Universal Design Features
    • 100cm minimum door opening width
      Loud doorbell/connected to flashing light
      Ramps and path gradients must be less than 20:1
      Pocket doors so that cabinet doors are out of the way
      Semi recessed basins
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Slip resistant flooring
      Washing machine/dryer on plynth for easy access
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 4
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 3
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Bee keeping
      Bee hotels/friendly
      Bird-nesting boxes
      Community vegetable garden
      Edible garden
      Frog friendly
      Local indigenous plants
      Native plants
      Water wise plants
      Wicking beds
      Worm farm
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Make jams/conserves
      Plastic free household
      Recycle coffee grounds from nearby cafe's
      Swap with friends and neighbours
      Waste free/reduced construction site
    • Healthy home features
    • Cabinet design to minimise dust collection
      Carpet free - tiles/concrete/timber flooring throughout
      Chemical free cleaning products used
      Cross flow ventilation
      Formaldehyde free cabinets
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural fibre furnishings
      Natural light and ventilation
      VOC free paints/sealer/varnish
Nudgee QLD 4014
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Crest Building Group
    • Designer
    • David Pasquariello

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