Passive Solar in South West WA 2020

This profile is written and maintained by the homeowner, architect, or builder. You can ask them questions about their home in the comments below.

Location
Peppermint Grove Beach WA 6271
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • A.G & S.A Rains

About Passive Solar in South West WA

In 1981, my wife and I agreed to move south from Perth for work. Motivated by our desire to live as sustainably as possible, we purchased an urban block which was north facing and designed a passive solar house to fit on it. Information on which the design was based was gained from a wide range of publications, including from the CSIRO, about sustainable building materials etc. We used a local builder who was happy to meet our ‘unusual’ requirements.

The original instantaneous gas hot water system was replaced with a solar HWS in 1991 and a solar PV array was added in 2010. More solar panels were added to the array in 2016.

The heatform fireplace which was initially the only source of winter heating was found to be inefficient, so a Masport fire box was inserted into the fireplace in 2002, with hugely improved results. But the house was still cold in winter (and cool in summer) so, in 2012, we knocked out the front, mostly brick wall of the north-facing lounge and installed wall to wall, floor to ceiling glass. The resulting winter ‘greenhouse’ has hugely improved the winter warmth. Note that the roof overhang prevents most summer sun from entering the loungeroom and Roman blinds, while far from perfect, do a reasonable job of excluding any direct sunlight and hence heat that enters the loungeroom in late afternoon.

We now have a house which meets our needs extremely well. Our annual electricity bill is under $100; our heating costs are restricted to the consumables associated with using a chainsaw which cuts up local road verge trees which fall in winter storms for firewood.

SUSTAINABLE FEATURES

Years Open
2020
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Efficient lighting
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (flat panel)
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 0.5kL
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • Natural daylight

    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • Compact fluroescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes
    • Window Protection:
    • Blinds
      Eaves
      Pelmets
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • insulation batts
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • No
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 3kW
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $42,000
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $1,200
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 240m2
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – FZ: Direct exposure to flames from fire front in addition to heat flux of greater than 40kW/m2 and ember attack
    • Roof
    • Metal (Zincalume)
    • Wall Materials
    • Double brick
    • Window and Door Types
    • Sliding windows/doors
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 1
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Lawn provides food for native bandicoots
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Frog friendly
      Local indigenous plants
      Native plants

    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Book exchange/library
      Recycle
      Repair
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Cross flow ventilation
      Natural light and ventilation

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