McKinnon House 2024

House Notes – McKinnon House

We moved into the existing 1940 built, 85.5 square metre weatherboard on this site in 1991. This house was uninsulated and very difficult to heat and cool efficiently. We insulated the ceiling, updated the heating appliances, and changed room layouts over the next 8 years. We decided to start again from scratch so demolished the house in 2000.

Our 160 square metre rammed earth house was built in 2000/2001. It had one of the first grid connected solar systems in Melbourne. This well insulated house was designed to maximise solar input in winter whilst excluding the sun in summer.

Hot water was provided by a thermal solar system with an Aquamax gas storage backup.

Heating was primarily by a Rinnai Energysaver gas console heater recycled from the previous house on site. Electric column heaters were also used as required.
99% of glazing is Double Glazed (DG) with either uPVC or Cedar window frames. The heated areas of the house rarely go below 15 degrees in winter.

Updates include: PV sytem upgraded to 4.86kW on 26/05/2017 with battery storage added in 2015 then changed from AGM Lead acid to 6.6kWh lithium in 2020; The solar thermal HWS with gas storage backup was replaced with an Earthworker/Reclaim heat pump HWS on 24/3/2020; A Daikin Nexura heat pump heating/AirCon console unit replaced the existing Rinnai Energysaver for the main living area.

The last gas bill was paid on 24/4/2020.

The garden has been continuously modified, with different layouts tried, and planting adjustments made in accordance with the expectation of aging in place. These include an irrigation system, various permutations of raised garden beds and the provision of a small greenhouse. The focus now is on growing vegies and planting lots of bird and insect attracting plants,

Sustainability Features

Years Open
2024
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      External planting
      Passive solar designed home
      Shading
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Split system airconditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Stormwater management

    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 140 Litres/Day for each person(2 people)
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • 2 x plastic water tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 1 x 15000litres, 1 x 2250 litres.
    • Water harvesting and saving
    • Permeable paving surfaces, spot watering as required, usually from tank.
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • Compact Fluros, LED strip lights, task lighting
    • Window Protection:
    • Adjustable Shading
      Awnings (external)
      Blinds
      Eaves
      Shade Sails
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Sustainable materials:
    • The granitic sand- similar texture to Lilydale toppings- used for walls, was sourced from Warragul. 7% cement stabilisation in mixture (very weak concrete equivalent).
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Rocks/stone
      Sleepers
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
      Internal walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R3
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Reflective foil
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R3
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R2
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Energy storage/battery
      Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 4.65kW with 6.6kWh of storage
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 8.4kWh/day for 2 people/year. So 4.2kWh/day/person/year
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $185,000 (2001) + Approx $50,000 for new bathroom, kitchen, Appliance upgrades etc.
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 160m2
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
    • Roof
    • Metal (Zincalume)
    • Wall Materials
    • Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Rammed earth
    • Window and Door Types
    • Clerestory windows
      Double glazing
      Double hung
      Sliding windows/doors
    • Universal design accessability
    • Universal access
      Wheelchair accessible
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      No stairs/steps
      Ramps and path gradients must be less than 20:1
      Semi recessed basins
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Space around toilets for ease of access in wheelchairs
      Strong fittings like towel rails that can be used as hand rails
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 1
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Registered/protected tawny frogmouth gum tree; Bee attracting plants
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Bee hotels/friendly
      Composting
      Edible garden
      Greenhouse
      Local indigenous plants
      Organic
      Native plants
      Wicking beds

    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Book exchange/library
      Compost all food scraps
      Recycle
      Repair
      Swap with friends and neighbours
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Carpet free - tiles/concrete/timber flooring throughout
      Cross flow ventilation
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation

    • Healthy Home
    • Mats/rugs are used in bedrooms and elsewhere. All bathroom spaces are permanently vented to reduce condensation.
Location
McKinnon VIC 3204
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • Continual Improvement
    • Builder
    • Owner Builders
    • Designer
    • Dynamic Design Group (Stratford).

View the house tour

Ask questions about this house

Load More Comments
Name
Email
Comment
Leave Comment