A little while ago, we were lucky to tour this eco home at Stirling in the Adelaide Hills, as part of Sustainable House Day. It is a bit of a landmark when it comes to sustainable homes, as it was built some years ago now, using the available materials and ideas at the time. The owners, Susan and Jason, used their design skills, dream ideas and available materials, to create a home that is as beautiful today as when they built it. Conceived by the couple, the home is a small, simple, modern cottage, designed to be as sustainable, healthy and efficient as possible, within budget constraints at the time, of about $300,000. The house is deliberately positioned within walking distance of work, public transport and service – something it is easy to forget about when designing a sustainable home. By being able to walk to work, or get public transport, as well as local shops for supplies and entertainment and leisure, you are reducing your carbon footprint, and creating a healthier lifestyle.
Key Aspects of this Sustainable Home
The home is North facing, a key principle of passive design, with internal mass of rammed earth walls, and concrete floors to assist with heat uptake and release. The timber used in the construction internally and externally, is mostly reclaimed, recycled or plantation growth. Windows are double glazed and insulation is R3.5 or more.
The fittings were chosen to minimise off gassing and finishes are all non toxic. This is an important aspect in creating a home that is not just sustainable in its build, but healthy on the inside.
There is minimum use of PVC. The sustainable house uses solar hot water heating and has 32 photovoltaic panels for energy creation. It only uses collected rainwater for water needs.
To minimise footprint, a centralised and open kitchen was designed to be family inclusive, with no wasted passageways or laundry space; to allow for easy mixing and communicating, but to also encourage freedom to use individual spaces, rather than being all open plan. The house also uses easy maintenance construction materials and finishes of high quality. It is decorated with the homeowners personal and eclectic collections, adding to its charm.
In addition to minimal use of PVC, toxic finishes and off gassing products, mould growth is reduced by ventilation and good light penetration, with added skylights in the bathroom and kitchen. House dust mites are discouraged by the use of timber or tiled flooring, with some cleanable rugs.
Landscaping on the property uses mostly water conserving species , to reduce the need for additional watering and the garden wraps around the house, making use of the sloped block, down to a winter creek. It is designed on biodynamic and organic principles, and provides ample vegetables and fruits.
We are in love with this house and its #realhomesmovement approach. If you would love to share your home on the blog, please get in touch, we would love to see it.
Update of a post from 2016