Having built one sustainable, high-rating house on an ideally oriented site, owner-builders Mark Clayton and Karina Deans wanted to show that they could achieve similar results on the worst-oriented block in the Adelaide suburb of Glanville. They wanted to find out how much more it would cost to build on a site where the narrow entry is to the north, and the long edge faces west.
The 8.2 Star home has been designed to be cooler in summer months taking into account that, in future, the number of 40+ degree days in Adelaide is expected to increase. Aesthetically, they’ve taken a modern approach to the traditional cottages that are abundant within the area; hence, the single-fronted veranda cottage with narrow eaves, 30-degree pitched roof, and the use of tin and lightweight construction, which all add to achieving the goal of being affordable and sustainable.
They wanted to run the house wholly from solar, with the option for batteries in future, so have chosen against a gas connection and installed a heat pump for hot water, a 6.2kW solar system (east–west orientation) and induction cooking. The building envelope is highly insulated, is made from SIPs (structural insulated panels), uses reverse block veneer for thermal mass and has double glazing. A blower door test showed a 4.7 ACH (Australian average is 15.4), which reduces excess heating and cooling costs and provides greater comfort. The only active cooling is provided by ceiling fans; a wood heater is used for heating.
Water hasn’t been forgotten, and the house has 7000L of rainwater storage, a drought-tolerant garden, WELS-rated taps and fittings throughout, and efficient appliances. Landscaping is designed for water retention and, to reduce building materials, solar panels double as the carport roof.
Article written by Rachael Bernstone and professional photos taken by Finn Howard – see more and read the full article from Sanctuary issue 44.
Ed from the City of Adelaide Enfield Council visited Mark at his home. To find out more about sustainable homes in Adelaide, click here.