New Houses

 
 
 
 
Bathurst Sustainable Lifestyle Home. A 2009 competition finalist, featuring 7-star operational energy; 66% reduction in embodied energy; 40% reduction in water usage; and 42% reduction in Green House Gas emissions compared to standard homes of the same size. An earthen 'thermal chimney' gives mass and enhanced natural ventilation, taking cool air from underfloor before using natural breeze pathways to distribute it throughout the house. Even the 'waffle' water tanks have multiple benefits, sheltering the home from afternoon sun, winds and the nearby road.
 
 
 
 
 
Attwater Home. How to build a sustainable home to a tight budget on a steep narrow 50’ block, with extreme bushfire danger? Keep it compact, use levels and sunlight, prefabricate a steel frame, make it entirely non-combustible externally, and wrap it all with a covered deck. Even the shape is aerodynamic to shed burning embers, with great care taken with sealing all external joints.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sisters Home. A new five bedroom home as part of a spiritual retreat centre, connecting to the existing building. Being within a mine subsidence area meant compact form, special waffle slab, flexible construction, yet still making the most of passive solar design and sound separation between rooms.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Canowindra home. Part of an organic permaculture farm cooperative, these clients just wanted design advice and construction reassurance. Keen to do it themselves, we workshopped ideas and did butter-paper sketches of the details from which they crafted their own straw-bale, earth and timber home.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Cornwell home. Replacing a burnt-out home on 30' wide block with steep cross-fall amidst heritage homes is no easy regulatory task. For this project we had to convince the planners, then Councillors of the merits of building closer to boundaries than regulations permitted, plus replicate form rather than materials for this new build.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Hilder home. Inspired by what they'd seen on an ECOhome tour, this family wanted to build a rural home using organic materials. So local hardwoods, rendered straw-bales, curved reverse brick-veneer to fireplace and stairs, polished concrete slab and more. Plus 4.5kw solar array, evacuated tube hot water, plus complete water harvesting for living off-the-grid. Now the chooks and crops are developing.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Hilder home. As keen owner-builders wanting to build their home in timbercrete, being located at the top of a heavily treed gully facing north-east meant some compromises where inevitable. Two storey earth construction, double-glazed windows, curved roofs and adjacent garage all close to the road was necessary. Balancing work with part-time construction has meant years of hard effort, building as money is available for each stage.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Leaf house. Unbuilt, but a remarkable design using sacred geometry (logarithmic spiral within the golden mean) and Christopher Alexander's pattern language. Located at the corner of a triangular bushland block, it uses the fall of land in part for two-storey construction, always opening up to the northern sun and courtyard. The roof has biomimicry elements through serrated ridge that captures morning sunlight into bedrooms. The project was to become a showcase for earthen construction.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Rice home. A home designed as two pavilions along a narrow block with a watercourse running through. The pavilions permitted building in stages as money was available, all on pole-frame so as to be above the 1 in 100 years flood level. Inspite of the adjacent houses, Council decided that it was prudent to acquire the vacant land rather than permit a house to be built.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Vaughan home. A careful solar design for a quadriplegic, meeting all specialised spatial and material requirements, as well as 'commodity, firmness and delight'. Keeping an even temperature was especially important, along with sunroom and shady areas so he could follow the warmth or coolth as necessary. Considerable negotiation was needed due to inflexible Council regulations that had to be varied to meet his specialised needs. The final result however is a fine home that anyone could happily live in, enjoying sustainable design at its best.