Whiptail Strawbale House 2020

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Location
Rathdowney QLD 4287
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Open with support of
    • Wild Mountains Trust, Nature Play
    • Builder
    • Rob Peagram Builder
    • Designer
    • Emma Scragg Architect

About Whiptail Strawbale House

Whiptail is a recently completed strawbale home which forms part of the Wild Mountains Environmental Education Centre. It sits on the spectacular west-facing slope of the Border Ranges with living spaces oriented to the north to capture winter sun through large recycled timber doors and other spaces opening to the expansive views of the Scenic Rim. The building was constructed over 5 years with volunteer and paid labour and features strawbale external walls, earth floors, recycled hardwood framing and linings and secondhand doors. Ceilings are lined with Paulonia plywood chosen for its rapid renewal and its lightweight properties. The building maintains a comfortable temperature range through summer and winter aided by the thermal mass of the floor and the super insulating properties of the straw walls and heavily insulated ceiling.

Power is supplied by a nearby solar array with battery bank provides more than enough for the house and has provided power during the construction of the neighbouring residence. Energy-efficient light fittings include Brightgreen downlights and custom-made pendants from salvaged materials.

Rainwater consumption is reduced by use of a composting toilet and greywater from the solar heated shower, kitchen and washing machine is treated on a terrace below the house.
Permaculture gardens are planned for improved food self-sufficiency.

  • Recycled hardwood framing, lining, windows and doors
  • Recycled polyester insulation
  • Strawbale and local earth render – low embodied energy
  • High insulation levels for stable, cooler internal temperatures
  • Earth floor – much lower embodied energy than concrete
  • Plantation plywood and locally sourced pine for cabinetry

This home is supported by

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SUSTAINABLE FEATURES

Years Open
2019
2020
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Passive solar designed home
      Shading
      Thermal mass
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Grey water system
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Eaves
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Recycled hardwood framing, lining, windows and doors. Recycled polyester insulation
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Appliances
      Basins/sinks
      Bottles
      Doors
      Glass
      Paving
      Rocks/stone
      Sleepers
      Timber
      Windows
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
      External walls
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – polyester
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Aircell
    • External Walls Type:
    • Straw (stawbale walls)
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • No
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Energy storage/battery
      Solar PV off-grid
    • Size of PV system:
    • 7kW
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $208,000
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 138m2 including walls plus 145m2 covered outdoor areas
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – 19: Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 19kW/m2
    • Roof
    • Metal (Zincalume)
    • Wall Materials
    • Strawbale
    • Window and Door Types
    • Double glazing
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 1
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Composting
      Edible garden
      Organic
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Plastic free household
      Recycle
      Repair
      Swap with friends and neighbours
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Cabinet design to minimise dust collection
      Chemical free cleaning products used
      Lime render/wash
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
      Wax based sealer/finish

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