Starting over – a sustainable rebuild 2021

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

House Notes – Starting over – a sustainable rebuild

Our first home, built in 1972, was an individual build using passive solar design as we understood it back then. Whilst this home worked well in summer, it did not retain heat overnight in winter due largely to uninsulated wooden floors. Unfortunately, the builder took hidden shortcuts which resulted in cumulative damage that eventually made the house unliveable.

So in 2019, not wanting to leave our neighbourhood, we made the difficult decision to knock our home down and start again. We lost our front garden but were able to keep the rear garden, including several trees, as well as a 35 square metre brick studio and a large garden shed.

Meeting Griff Morris, the calm and knowledgeable head of Solar Dwellings, was the key to giving us the confidence to rebuild, turning challenge into opportunity. Griff met our brief of designing an affordable, low maintenance, sustainable home, built to universal design principals, that would replace our first much-loved home with a rebuild that would take us comfortably into our old age.

Seven months after the pad went down, we moved in over Easter 2020 and set to work establishing a new garden containing 200 waterwise natives. With our focus elsewhere, we went through our first winter without a single curtain to retain heat, yet the house still performed well. Overnight temperatures never dropped below high teens whilst daytime temperatures quickly reached low to mid-twenties and stayed there until late at night. Over summer the indoor temperature ranged from low to high twenties. Our ceiling fans, only rarely required, kept us comfortable during heatwaves.

Whilst it was devastating to knock down a home containing half a century of memories, we are well compensated by our rebuild, which has exceeded our expectations in every regard.

SUSTAINABILITY FEATURES

Years Open
2020
2021
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      External planting
      Passive solar designed home
      Shading
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (flat panel)
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Stormwater management
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • .25 kl
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • metal rainwater tank
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 2100 litre
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
      Tubular skylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Deciduous tree/vegetation
      Drapes/curtains
      Eaves
      Honeycomb blinds
      Pelmets
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Bricks
      Light fixtures / fittings
      Paving
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
      External walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R 4.1
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Reflective foil
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R 1.3
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R 0.15
    • External Walls Type:
    • Reflective insulation
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 2kWh
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $270,000
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • unknown
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $1,000
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 212 m2 (175 m2 internal living space)
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Double brick
    • Window and Door Types
    • Awning
      Sliding windows/doors
      Sun Tunnel/SolaTube
    • Universal design accessability
    • Universal access
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Flush thresholds (no lip) to all external doors
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      No stairs/steps
      Power points at 60cm above floor level and 50cm from internal corners
      Semi recessed basins
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Tapware to be easily accessed from outside the shower
      Window openings easily accessible
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 4
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Bee hotels/friendly
      Bird-nesting boxes
      Composting
      Edible garden
      Local indigenous plants
      Organic
      Native plants
      Water wise plants
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Book exchange/library
      Compost all food scraps
      Make jams/conserves
      Recycle
      Repair
      Swap with friends and neighbours
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Carpet free - tiles/concrete/timber flooring throughout
      Chemical free cleaning products used
      Cross flow ventilation
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation
Location
Bull Creek WA 6149
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Open with support of
    • Solar Dwellings
    • Builder
    • Danmar Homes
    • Designer
    • Solar Dwellings

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