Wilkinson’s House 2024

House Notes – Wilkinson’s House

Summary: all electric plus-energy house with PV, battery & EV, rain water tank, many livability features and even slab edge insulation.
This house is being supported by Solar Dwellings. This is the third passive solar house that I have had built, and the most successful by far. Griff Morris has been a great help all the way through the project – right from advising on the block (several earlier ones were overlooked on his advice) and then design through construction and fitout.

The house tries to combine the functionality of a passive solar house with some visual appeal – I am much in favour of the style of Frank Lloyd Wright and Sarah Susanka (author of The Not So Big House).

I was fortunate to find a block in a new estate that is supporting sustainable development – the block is 18m x 24m and faces due east. Also, there are concessions with setbacks, as well as rebates for installation of solar hot water, solar PV panels and a water tank.

I have been in the house since 2013 and, although the house has two shade sails (north and south), I have found some weeks in summer a bit hot, so I have installed a small air conditioner. I occasionally need to use the reverse cycle in winter.

The house has been situated as far to the south and west as possible to allow for a reasonable-sized garden, which features mostly fruit trees. The colorbond fencing has been covered by reed panels in an effort to minimise the amount of heat reflected into the house. To shelter the southern windows from the afternoon sun, we have built manually operated shutters; they also keep the cold out in winter.

I upgraded from 1.5kW to a 4.8kW PV system in summer as it was not generating enough energy during winter. Also installed a 22kW battery. I installed a monitoring system to track my energy generation and consumption in 15-minute intervals; this has been helpful in maximising my consumption of energy. Consumption from the grid is about 1kW hr per day.

I recently installed a curtain to separate the laundry from the living room, and have started to experiment with Perspex as a form of secondary glazing on some windows that are not low-e glass. I converted the single-brick wall to the garage into reverse brick veneer to reduce the heat flow between the garage and house.
Purchased an EV a month ago so reducing green house gas emitted due to transport.
In September 2021, replaced only 2 gas appliances with electric.

Designed by Griff Morris and Ken Wibberley from Solar Dwellings.

This house achieved a NatHERS rating of 9.1 stars using NatHERS accredited software (FirstRate5). Find out how the star ratings work on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) website.

This home is supported by

Perth Branch

Sustainability Features

Years Open
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring

    • Energy efficiency:
    • Override switch over four kitchen appliances
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Split system airconditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (flat panel)
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
      Drip irrigation
    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 100 l
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Plastic
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 10k l
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • Natural daylight
      Solar skylight
      Tubular skylight

    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • 10 x recessed LED downlights - all IC-F rated
    • Electric Vehicle Type
    • Hyundai Ioniq Electric
    • Window Protection:
    • Adjustable Shading
      Awnings (external)
      Deciduous tree/vegetation
      Shade Sails
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Timber doors Low VOC paint on walls and stains on doors Dark coloured tiles on northern side of house
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Doors
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      External walls

    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R4.0 (including garage)
    • Other Insulation Methods:
    • R1 EPS to wall between garage and living; R1.2 PIR board to west wall of Bed 2; R1 slab edge insulation to Bed 2; enclosed pelmets and heavy drapes to many windows.
    • Internal / External Walls Type:
    • Brick
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Insulated reflective foil (Anticon 60mm)
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R1.3
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R1.6
    • External Walls Type:
    • Reflective insulation
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Energy storage/battery
      Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 4.8kW
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 0.5kWh per day (excluding EV)
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $262,000
    • Cost estimate of sustainable home/features:
    • Many sustainable features were included in the construction price
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • $5,000
    • House Size
    • 173m2
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Double brick
      Reverse Brick veneer
    • Window and Door Types
    • Double hung
      Low-e, films
      Sliding windows/doors
      Sun Tunnel/SolaTube
      180 degree opening doors

    • Window and Door Types
    • DIY 4.5mm Perspex installed in ensuite
    • Universal design accessability
    • Universal access
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Contrasting colours and material for vision impaired
      Flush thresholds (no lip) to all external doors
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      No stairs/steps
      Power points at 60cm above floor level and 50cm from internal corners
      Pull out shelving easily accessible in wheelchairs
      Ramps and path gradients must be less than 20:1
      Semi recessed basins
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Slip resistant flooring
      Space around toilets for ease of access in wheelchairs
      Tapware to be easily accessed from outside the shower
      Window openings easily accessible
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 3
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Drip irrigation
      Edible garden
      Wicking beds
      Worm farm
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Recycle
    • Healthy home features
    • Cabinet design to minimise dust collection
      Carpet free - tiles/concrete/timber flooring throughout
      Cross flow ventilation
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
      VOC free paints/sealer/varnish
Harrisdale WA 6112
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Open with support of
    • Renew Perth Branch
    • Designer
    • Solar Dwellings

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