Low Energy Hills Home
The Brief: To design a spacious energy efficient home that takes advantage of views to the North-West. The home is for a semi-retired couple who have occasional guests.
Design Response: Designed for a medium sized hills block this home features living, dining and kitchen areas opening to a generous alfresco deck with a lovely to an old gum tree.
This low energy single storey home features a very space efficient layout incorporating open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area and study to the North. There are 2 bedrooms with generous wet areas and storage to the South.
The home uses passive design principles to achieve year round comfort. External wall construction is timber frame with multiple cladding selections. A breathable build wrap is used to control moisture while maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Insulation is a combination of high performance rigid foam over the timber frame and bulk insulation between studs for a total R-value of 4.5. The combined roof and ceiling insulation creates a total R-value of 5.2.
Doors and window are double glazed and fitted with compression seals with fixed shade sails providing additional shading from the sun. Natural ventilation has been carefully factored into the design and aided by the use of ceiling fans in living and bedroom areas.
Recycled, locally sourced and chemical free materials have been chosen for this home and include timber from sustainably managed forests and concrete slab with recycled aggregate.
Rainwater is collected and stored in large tanks on site, while treated stormwater from the community wetlands will supply the cold water taps of the washing machine, toilet flushing and irrigation. The plumbing system also integrates a solar hot water system with gas boost.
All electrical appliances are 5 Star Energy rated and load limiting is achieved with the help of EcoVision monitoring. These passive design principles combine to give the home a 7.5 star energy rating.
This home was not constructed as the owners had change of life plans. The design is available for adaptation to suit a future hills or suburban block.