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We have a strong desire to live sustainably in many ways and it had been our dream for years to build and live in an energy efficient home. We had already found a block which was north-facing and close to a train station. We lived in the existing 1950’s home for a few years before we teamed up with architect Sid Thoo to design a new home to build on the block. Apart from building a house that would require little energy to run, we wanted a modern and comfortable, though not overly large, family home that could be built within the normal budget for house construction.
During the first year of living in our solar passive house we have established that we could live without any air conditioning or space heating and our energy use can be very low. Our total energy use is less than half what it used to be, and more than half of that is sourced from our solar panels. Our home has been lovely to live in and we couldn’t be happier.
• NatHERS 8.2 Star Rating
• Solar passive heating & cooling achieved through careful design of orientation, window area, eaves/shading, breezes and internal thermal mass
• Colorbond ‘Whitehaven’ low absorptance roof
• Low embodied energy timber-framed construction and Weathertex Ecogroove exterior cladding
• R2.5 insulation in walls and R4.0 insulation in ceiling
• Low absorptance paint colours on north, east and western walls
• North-facing living areas with eaves designed to exclude summer but permit winter sun
• Polished concrete floors throughout providing thermal mass and saving on additional floor materials
• Draft-proofing, sealing and self-closing exhaust fans to minimise air exchange
• 5.6kW Solar PV grid interconnected system
• Energy efficient DC ceiling fans throughout
• Energy efficient LED lighting throughout with master switch
• Energy efficient washing machine, refrigerator and dishwasher (no dryer)
• Double-glazed windows
• Clerestory windows to maximise natural lighting in central areas of the house
• All electric. Gas connection physically removed.
• Induction cooktop
• High efficiency heat pump Hot Water System with timer to maximise solar power utilisation
• Waterwise shower head, taps and toilets
• Waterwise local and WA native plants suitable for local soils
• Drip irrigated garden beds with waterwise, chunky, pine bark mulch
• Minimal grassed areas for children’s play with fully programmable irrigation
• Wicking kitchen garden beds with “Waterups” technology
• No paved areas to maximise ground penetration of rain
• Worm farm and composting of food waste
This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 8.2 stars using NatHERS accredited software. Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.
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