8 Star Efficient Living

This home boasts an 8-star energy rating, along with a very high performing air infiltration result of 3.4. Overall the home encapsulates the concept of energy efficient construction. From the first concept design, the desire was to construct a home that has a modern style, designed to maximise the site’s orientation and views, whilst working with the fall of the land. To achieve this, a split level design was implemented to reduce the extent of site cut, fill and retaining walls.


The separate large garage, which was requested by the client, was purposely designed so the man of the house could have his workshop and also store his boat. The structure sits nicely with the home as similar materials were used in the construction. The garage and home are tied together with a recycled timber structure for the Owner’s to grow a vine, creating a green canopy.


The home’s energy efficiency and passive design inclusion details are listed below:


  • Cross ventilation has been very well achieved with strategically placed windows. The opening configuration was also well thought out by letting cooler air flow in at the bottom and warmer air escaping from the top
  • Double glazed argon filled PVC windows with awning and tilt and turn operations offer great sealing and insulation qualities
  • A mixture of ventilated iron cladding and 75mm Dulux Exulite fixed to 25mm foam battens create an extremely high R rating to the walls
  • The external walls are insulated with R2.5 high-performance insulation
  • Internal walls insulated with R2.0 batts and the ceilings with R.50 Fibreglass
  • The North, East, and West facing windows are protected with pergolas constructed to support the deciduous vines to block out summer sun. They will also be protected with roll down and out shade devices
  • The Northern sliding door and kitchen window are protected by a large electrically operated awning blind
  • The complete fabric of the home was sisalation wrapped. This was taped sealed and the ceiling sarking has a 40mm sag between the purlins creating another air space.   
  • The skirting boards and architraves were well sealed.
  • Highly water efficient sanitary and tapware have been installed.
  • The home runs on a 30 tube electric boost, evacuated tube hot water service
  • 20,000 liters of rainwater is plumbed into the home
  • Low VOC paints were used
  • The home’s color scheme was chosen to be complementary to the site and also offer great reflective benefits  
  • The home’s layout is also well zoned to maximise the heating and cooling
  • The tiled floors in the main living areas offer a great thermal mass to assist in absorbing the terrific winter sun


The Owner has commented on how well the house performs. They were very proud that their home, which was tested by Sustainability House, had achieved the best result they had seen to date, a level of 3.4 (a copy of which is attached). The energy efficient principles used have helped to contribute to the overall effectiveness and all year round comfort of this home.