Luxury Low Impact Living
A home completely designed to suit its North/South location, with the goal of creating a lovely home that not only looks stunning, but also has low running costs to better suit todays rising energy prices. What could be better?
Due to the steep slope of the block, the design very cleverly shows how a home can be constructed to flow with the land and not be constructed in the conventional way with a large cut and fill. The home has three different levels, all working towards the lowest part of the block which contains the main living area.
Our external wall frames have been constructed using 120mm timber. The benefit of this is that R2.5 rockwool insulation batts are 88mm wide and fit neatly into the wall with a 30mm air space, which is excellent for extra insulation. We have also covered all external walls with E-therm insulating blanket, which also has air spaces built into it, giving an additional R1 to the overall insulation. Our ceiling is insulated with R4.1 Fibreglass and the complete roof area is also covered with the Etherm wrap. The external walls achieve an R rating of over R5.0
A mixture of Hardies LINEA board and the MATRIX system gives variety to the external walls. Texture coated external walls are lined with 75mm Render panel which is a foam product with outstanding insulating properties (R2.0).
Thermal mass is important in any home for retaining winter warmth. This should be located in an area where the northern sun will reach in the winter time. This has been achieved in the main living area’s eastern wall in this home.
As this home is on a corner block, it has two entrances. One which serves as the main entrance for guests where the secondary door near the driveway deals with family coming and goings. Both have quality solidcore doors and enviroseals to help keep moisture and drafts at bay.
To facilitate family living this home has two large living areas, one at the top of the home which would work nicely as a teenage retreat. The main living area in the lower section of the home is fitted with a clean, efficient, gas burning fire (which is fed from an underground gas storage unit). Raked ceilings facing the northern court-yard help gather much needed sunlight to also assist with warming.
A specially designed slatted sunshade over the large areas of northern facing glass helps keep the summer sun out, however allows for much needed winter sun to enter.
This sunshine then warms the concrete floor below the tiles so that in the evening when the outside temperature drops this warmth is dispersed throughout the zone.
During summer, ceiling fans and high level windows allow the air to be moved throughout the space (flowing from lower windows on the southern side up through the high northern windows) keeping this lovely living area cool as well.
A quality kitchen was designed to be both functional and stylish, fitting in seamlessly with the feel of the room. A feature raised island bench hides the workings of the kitchen from the entertaining portion of the home. A very large walk in pantry is a great storage asset for this minimalist kitchen.
The two guest bedrooms are on the western side of the home so they have had electronic shading installed; both are a good size and have built in robes and ceilings fans. The master bedroom is certainly one of the features of the home.
The design was created to give the owners’ privacy by walking past both the walk in robe and ensuite which creates a nice separation from the rest of the home. The private courtyard is certainly a nice touch for owners to enjoy a tranquil quiet spot to sit.
The bedroom has great cross flow ventilation with windows on either side of the room. Two bathrooms service the 3 bedrooms. One, three way bathroom where multiple people can be utilizing different functions at once. A vanity unit with custom designed drawers give ample storage for a family and a water saving toilet adds even more environmentally sensitive features to the home.
The ensuite is compact with a luxurious feel and includes a soft close toilet and completely frameless shower screen, all tiled to the ceiling with quality large format tiles. This home has multiple outdoor spaces including a service yard to the west which keeps the tanks, pumps, and clothes line out of view of guests.
The main courtyard, which flows directly off of the living area is another great feature of the home. A retractable awning offers more shade when it is required. Planted with a feature deciduous tree so that there is green shade in summer and light coming through in winter, it’s a private safe haven for Owners to entertain and enjoy their guests and families.
The layout of this home, with its courtyards allowing precious northern light into different zones, is really what sets this home apart along with a number of other features including:
- White ant treatment by Termimesh which is non-toxic.
- No lighting penetrates the ceiling space insulation, only the exhaust fans in the bathroom, and these have energy saving covers when they are not in use.
- 2kw solar power generating system and Solar HWS with gas boost.
- Two 9,000L rainwater tanks to run the home (with an auto change over to mains supply when needed).
- Lawn watering is achieved by an underground system.
- Shading trees have been carefully selected and planted for maximum shading in the correct months around the whole home (eg. evergreen to protect walls and deciduous in areas where we want the winter sun.)
- All lighting is minimal and only using energy efficient LED globes.
- All painting is completed using the Solver BIO range.
Every design aspect and material choice has been thought about carefully and made for a specific reason in this project …to create a passively sustainable home for the future.