Piano House 2020

This profile is written and maintained by the homeowner, architect, or builder.

House Notes – Piano House

The brief was to create a home for a professional couple with 3 bedrooms and two family areas on a small site while still retaining generous outdoor space. The home needed to be adaptable; a work environment during the day and a relaxing, spacious home where the couple could enjoy their music and art, relax and entertain in a modern contemporary environment, one that required minimal amount of mechanical heating and cooling.

TS4 Living’s approach was unique for the site that faces 45° west of north. We created living areas that are warmed with northern winter sun and cooled with natural ventilation for almost 300 days of the year without any need for heating or cooling. While the home has no shading to any windows the use of advanced glass in some of the windows has significantly reduced solar gains during the summer months. The design elements and attention to detail during construction has resulted in a blower door test result of 5.1ACH@50pa or less than one third the air changes for typical Australian residential construction.

The high quality 6.4kW solar panel array creates free hot water even in the middle of winter while still exporting energy to the grid; essentially the home generates more energy than it consumes making it carbon positive. Combined with quality LED lighting and the latest in energy efficient appliances they overall energy consumption for the home is significantly less than our clients have been used to in their past home.

The final result is a home filled with light that is warm during the winter months and cool in the summer with practicable and functional spaces that adapt to both professional and personal life.

Built by Aria Homes






This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 8.1 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:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
      Smart home features
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Deciduous planting around house
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Heat pump
      Split system airconditioner

    • Active heating cooling:
    • Australian manufactured Nectre N60 Log Burner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
      Water heated by PV system
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Stormwater management
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
      Drip irrigation
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 80L
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Poly water tank
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 10,000L
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Automation/controls
      Honeycomb blinds
      Solar pergola
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Sealed build envelope with microporous breathable build wrap and reflective rigid high performance non-combustible insulation beneath. An Air Change per Hour (ACH) rate 5 time lower that the typical Australian home without requiring a continuously running heat exchange system.
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Aggregate
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Internal walls
      External walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R6.4 (summer/winter averaged)
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Foil-faced insulation blanket
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R1.35
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R2.4 (summer/winter averaged)
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R5.6 (summer/winter averaged)
    • External Walls Type:
    • Composite light weight timber frame, wall batt and rigid, high performance non-combustible insulation.
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Energy star rating:
    • 8.1
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 6.4kW
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • < 2.25kWh
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $525,000
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • $85,000
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $4,800 - $6,100
    • House Size
    • 248 m2
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Insulated panels or blocks
      Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Metal (Colorbond)

    • Wall Materials
    • High performance multi-layered construction with PIR rigid insulation board and CSR insulation products
    • Window and Door Types
    • Clerestory windows
      Double glazing
      Low-e, films
      Sliding windows/doors
      Tilt and turn

    • Window and Door Types
    • uPVC "Tilt Turn" windows
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      No Corner cupboards
      Rocker style light switches
      Slip resistant flooring
      Strong fittings like towel rails that can be used as hand rails
      Window openings easily accessible
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Drip irrigation
      Native plants
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Recycle
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Automated ventilation system
      Cross flow ventilation
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation
Gilberton SA 5081
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Aria Homes
    • Designer
    • TS4 Living

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