Strawbale Farmhouse 2017

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House Notes – Strawbale Farmhouse

The Strawbale Eco-Farmhouse, is a super insulated, passive solar heated home that stays warm from autumn through to spring utilising mass collected in the coloured concrete floor as the main solar heater and thermal battery, our wood fire runs an average of two evenings a week in the height of winter as temperatures usually stay in low 20s through passive solar heating alone.

No air-conditioning needed – summer cooling through appropriate eaves excluding high angle summer sun, high thermal mass floor (with sun kept off and stabilised by cooler soil temperatures below) and more thermal mass via interior lime plastered walls and brick dividing wall; exterior reflective plaster; skillion roof, the highlight windows vent warm air near ceilings at night when it is cooler, we use of fans to perge the hot air on still nights.

Bushfire resistant design and self-sufficient for water and electricity (off-grid).

Composting toilets save water and recycle nutrients, whilst greywater is recycled onto garden.  Native plant garden with green firebreaks for bushfire safety.  Woodrow style permaculture mandala.  Sustainable farm with 52ha on-farm mosaic-burnt conservation reserve, extensive revegetation through shelter belts, organically farmed beef, honey and vegetables.

This home is also home to Red Moon Sanctuary


Years Open
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Efficient lighting
      Draught proofing
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
      Smart home features
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Shading
      Cross ventilation

    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Exposed mass coloured concrete floor heated by sun autumn through spring but with summer sun excluded by eaves
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
      Wood fire wetback
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Underground storage
      Above ground storage
      Greywater system
      Stormwater management

    • Underground rainwater storage type:
    • Greywater tank
    • Underground rainwater storage Size:
    • 1,200L
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Rainwater tank
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 220,000L
    • Water harvesting and saving
    • Waterless compost toilets which close the nutrient cycle by fertilising fruit trees etc; twin tub washing machine used properly saves us lots of water by only having one load of suds for all your washing; low flow systems not desirable due to large rainwater storage tank and requirement for greywater for garden use and not on mains pressure anyway as pumped from rainwater tank, so low-flow compared to mains pressure
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Outdoor benches, storage boxes, hall stand, other furniture made from recycled wood / pallets / etc; entire kitchen bought second-hand at auction and modified to fit our house, extra cabinets from this went to make vanities for ensuite and guest bathroom; old doorknobs re-used from a friend's historic house renovation; most furniture secondhand or in family for 15+ years
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Strawbale, plus recycled materials listed above; all framing in plantation pine.
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Kitchen/bath cabinets

    • Insulation Type:
    • Ceiling
      Internal and external walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Plasterboard, earth wool ceiling insulation
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R4 ceiling insulation, R1.5 blanket immediately below zincalume roof
    • Floor Rating:
    • Thermal mass floor for passive solar heating - not rated
    • Internal / External Walls Type:
    • Strawbale exterior and some interior walls, mix of brick, plasterboard, rustic timber walls for other internals
    • Internal / External Walls Rating:
    • R rating of strawbale estimated 10-20; R3 interior walls
    • Energy star rating:
    • Varied depending on assessor, 7+ (in reality performs much better)
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV off-grid
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • $250,000
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • Self-sufficient for water and electricity, heating only required an average of two evenings in winter and done via wood heater using timber from our firebreak cleanups / dropped branches only; gas cooking costs us around $20 every 2-3 months via an 8,5kg camping cyclinder - no other running costs
    • House Size
    • 163 sqm + 30 sqm attic
    • Window and Door Types
    • Low-e, films
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Closing of nutrient loop via composting toilets, sustainable agriculture on our farm including extensive revegetation in the form of shelter belts and shade clumps, 52ha on-farm conservation reserve in excellent condition and under mosaic burning regime (similar to Aboriginal practices), organic beef, organic honey, permaculture mandala (Woodrow style)
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Drip irrigation
      Water wise plants
      Edible garden
      Native plants
      Bee keeping

    • Healthy home features
    • Strawbale, lime plaster, rustic timber, cedar doors/windows, sealed mass floor - no carpets, washable cotton rugs, low-fume paint for any plasterboard interior walls, recycled kitchen cabinetry means particleboard componentry largely offgassed, most furniture old enough to have offgassed
Redmond WA 6327
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Owner build

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