The House On The Hill 2020

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Upper Beaconsfield VIC 3810
    • Housing Type:
    • Stand alone family home with granny flat
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Dragan Vulin - Akrob Property Group
    • Designer
    • Akrob Property Group

About The House On The Hill

From the outset our dream was to build a home not only for us but for our children and the children’s grandparents. Additional costs and benefits from sustainable elements are difficult to quantify as we also have BAL 40 requirements nor have we lived in the home yet so all current costs quoted are estimates.

The house is brick veneer, using recycled bricks with a colorbond roof. Our home is wrapped with a vapour permeable wall insulation wrap with all joints taped to reduce air leakage. Entry is via a mud room (providing an air lock) that reduces heat gain/loss when entering or leaving. Two internal brick walls help moderate temperature by providing thermal mass in the main living areas.

All windows are thermally broken double glazed aluminium. There are also four mechanically operated windows positioned in the centre of the cathedral ceiling allowing for sunlight into the centre of the home and for purging of unwanted hot air during the summer months. Majority of windows are positioned to the north and east to maximise natural light. The homes internal temperature will be maintained by a 3 phase refrigerated heating cooling unit. It is expected the 10kW solar system installed on the stable roof should offset power used. Hot water will be provided by 2 heat pump units.

Outside we have sheep and alpacas that reduce the need for mechanical grass maintenance and provide us with organic fertilizer for the vegetable garden and small orchard. We are fortunate to have grandad tending to the “food factory” with our children and their cousins enjoying many seasonal delights, as well as knowing what tomatoes should taste like.

No mains water connected, requires us to collect all rain water and with a total water storage capacity of nearly 200,000 litres, we have never needed to buy in additional water . A 22,500 litre water tank positioned uphill provides gravity fed water to the food factory. Rainwater is collected from the roof to use on the property. Once the house is built we plan to build a chook house which will provide joy, eggs and additional fertilizer.

Future plans include diverting waste water to gardens, battery storage for the solar system, edible plants and herbs planted around the outdoor entertaining area, indoor plants, a natural pool with a windmill to pump water through reed beds for filtration, edible plantings throughout the gardens and some deciduous plants along the northern elevation to provide for passive shading in summer.

We were hoping to have our virtual tour ready for SHD 2020 but due to my lack of IT knowledge were unable too. I have managed to add a few photos of our chicken coop with fox safe skirt mesh, Some wall shelving made using left over timber, floating kitchen shelves with sneaky magnet inserts again with leftover materials. Salvaged Reo bar used for ballstrading, loft ladders made from leftover framing and wicking beds made from unwanted water tanks. Although we purchased the gal piping for the bespoke light fixture it could be source with some forward thinking.

Read more in the Gazette, Sustainable living starts at home, story written by Jessica Anstice

This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 6 stars using NatHERS accredited software (FirstRate5). Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.

The house also achieved 10 stars with the Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard. If you would like to find out more click here.



Years Open
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal chimney
      Thermal mass

    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Shading with deciduous plants to the north side planned in the future
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Split system airconditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
      Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Low flow shower heads

    • Water harvesting and saving
    • Not connected to main water so we collect all water from all roofing for use onsite.
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight

    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • Clerestory windows
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Rocks excavated from site used as retaining wall for house footprint, left over reo bar used for the balustrade. Recycled bricks to be used for outdoor paving along with permeable toppings to allow water penetration.
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Window positioning to allow for natural light and ventilation via cross breezes. Installation installed by myself to ensure correct installation.
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Bricks

    • Insulation Type:
    • Ceiling
      Internal walls
      External walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R5.3
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R2.5 to some internal walls
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R2.5
    • External Walls Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • All-Electric Home?
    • No
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 10kW
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $1,000,000
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • $50,000
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $3,500
    • House Size
    • 480m2
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – 40: Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 40kW/m2
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Brick veneer
      Lightweight construction (timber frame)
    • Window and Door Types
    • Awning
      Clerestory windows
      Double glazing
      Low-e, films
    • Universal design accessability
    • Multi-generational
      Universal access
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Slip resistant flooring
      Tapware to be easily accessed from outside the shower
      Window openings easily accessible
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 5
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 5
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Composting
      Drip irrigation
      Edible garden
      Native plants
      Water wise plants
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Cross flow ventilation
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
      Wax based sealer/finish

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