Big foot print, no carbon foot print

Where to begin………… I love this house.

Part of the attraction to the site which also discouraged others were the three large beautiful significant 150 year old gum trees located centrally on the site. These trees became the focal point for the design philosophy the trees and views were to be brought into the spaces to give a close up experience of the sound of rustling leaves, dappled shade and beautiful colours in the bark. These colours informed the external colour palette of natural tones.  In order to limit earthworks and protect the trees the design hugged the tree line and was nestled in following the contours.

Designed by Energy Architecture this home sits at the rear of the property commanding a beautiful view, through the old gum trees, out over the Adelaide Hills.

With efficiency at forefront of this design process the house was built disturbing as little of the natural ground as possible. A tree protection zone was set up 20m from the base of the trees creating a huge no traffic zone. This made getting materials up the hill extremely difficult but as you can see from the pictures the trees live and the area around the bottom of the trees continues to look beautiful.

As a part of minimising the disturbance to the natural land, we poured a suspended slab on block work. This method allowed us to have hydronic under floor heating & cooling in the slab, kept the weather out from underneath and made a perfect spot for a cellar.

This beautiful home was constructed over the course of 10 months. During which time we had 10 days over 40 degrees, in a row. Upon entering on the 10th day I was expecting to melt, it was a balmy 25 degrees inside. At this stage we had no power and the windows were still shut.

Passive heating combined with appropriate shading and high performance UPVC windows and insulation provide the house with comfortable spaces all year round. Hydronic heating and ceiling fans with the embedded thermal mass and solar and battery system have created a low running cost and extremely comfortable home. There is no air conditioning in this home and absolutely no need for it. With a certain degree of planning, the right insulation, windows, cladding materials and building orientation you can have a passive home. The solar system covers the homes entire electrical requirements, the filtered rain water tanks service the entire home.

Every home should be built like this. Complete independence from the grid while still connected to it. Spend a few extra $ during the build and never spend another cent.

Enter the gallery through the giant western red cedar door, find 5m ceilings with  French pattern Terrazzo floors, feature stone walling and a room filled with natural light. Each room is its own delight, hand made Moroccan tiles, a double sided fire place, exposed spotted gum rafters, curved steel pergola, hidden laundry, cellar, huge counter levers, reading nooks, bench seating and an abundance of natural light