The House that Feeds 2024

House Notes – The House that Feeds

This modest, passive solar house – dubbed ‘the house that feeds’ – was designed as a simple system to support practices of ecological living including growing, harvesting and storing food.

Situated on muwinina country, lutruwita (Tasmania), the house is all-electric and double-glazed with rooftop solar and hot water, on-site water collection and wastewater. Built in 2012, its design was based on ecological design and resilience principles to meet my needs in a ‘just enough’ way with multi-use spaces, renewable and healthy materials, and the expectation of needing to adapt to both climate extremes and life stage changes.

Since 2016 when the house became home to us as a couple, we’ve added the solar system (for which the roof angle was designed), double-glazed and insulated the patio to create a heat sink extra room without enlarging the original footprint, and switched to an EV with charger. We’ve also expanded the native garden to over one fifth of the 1800sqm plot and we’ll continue to adapt the garden for both food and biodiversity, also keeping bushfire aware.

We are now thinking more about adapting the house for ageing in place and potential ways we could combine in-kind care while housing one or more others as even modest housing becomes harder to achieve in Australia.

Sustainability Features

Years Open
2024
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Blackwater system
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • Variable
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Galvanised steel tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 13,000L + 5,775L
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Electric Vehicle Type
    • Nissan Leaf
    • Window Protection:
    • Honeycomb blinds
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Surplus hardwood rafters were crafted into kitchen benches
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Basins/sinks
      Benchtops
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
      External walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R3.5
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Aircell
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R2.0
    • External Walls Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 4-8kW (two people excl. EV charging)
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $200,000 (2012)
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $1500 - $2000
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 77sqm + 25sqm (car & bike ports)
    • BAL Rating
    • No BAL rating requirements at time of construction
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Timber
    • Window and Door Types
    • Awning
      Double glazing
      Pocket doors
      Sliding windows/doors
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
    • Universal Design Features
    • No Corner cupboards
      Pocket doors so that cabinet doors are out of the way
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 2
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 1
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Bee hotels/friendly
      Composting
      Edible garden
      Frog friendly
      Local indigenous plants
      Organic
      Native plants
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Book exchange/library
      Compost all food scraps
      Make jams/conserves
      Pickle and preserve food
      Recycle
      Repair
      Take own containers to the supermarket and for take away food
      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
      Formaldehyde free cabinets
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
      VOC free paints/sealer/varnish
Location
Woodbridge TAS 7162
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • Adapted new build (2012)
    • Builder
    • Paradigm Construction
    • Designer
    • Wendy Fountain and Ryan Strating

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