Sunpower Design Pty Ltd won three major awards for their Birregurra Sustainable Home project in the BDAV 2009 Building Design Awards:
The clients asked Sunpower Design to design an exciting sustainable energy efficient home that was self-sufficient. The home needed to utilise the latest technology, while maintaining a sophisticated aesthetic.
The result is an 8-star rated, restrained and elegant house which exhibits a strong focus on sustainability. It features solar power and hot water, rainwater harvesting, grey-water recycling, low energy lighting and low toxicity finishes.
The organic forms and sweeping rooflines of the house are in harmony with the sloping site and surrounding landscape, and the use of corrugated steel and exposed timber externally make reference to the rural vernacular.
Natural colours and ‘honest’ materials are used throughout: floors are polished concrete and natural timber and plywoods with stainless steel accents are featured.
The house is contemporary and elegant, with a feeling of warmth and tranquility.
In terms of its energy efficient and environmentally sustainable features:
The dwelling is 85% self-sufficient over a 12-month period for power, water, heating and cooling, and was designed to flow with the contours of the land, minimising site cut. The thermal performance of the building is exceptional.
The dwelling incorporates an extensive use of recycled and reclaimed materials including the spotted gum stairs. The home also features a Biolytix waste water treatment system which handles all the black and grey water, and gives subsurface irrigation lines for garden watering. The system secretes its own ecosystem of microbes and composting worms
The external façade includes clever designed integrated shading blinds for sun protection in summer months.
The dwelling is a good example of sustainable building form, demonstrating you can design a functional, practical home which takes into account the landscape context and provides cost-effective resolutions.
This home performs on the leading edge of energy, rating top score of 43 point on First Rate House Energy Rating which exceeds the maximum rating tools available, giving equivalent to an 8 Star on a First Rate 5 design tool. The home requires minimal heating and no additional cooling. Temperature variation is between 18 and 28 degrees regardless of external temperatures.
Designer: Sunpower Design Pty Ltd
Photographer: Craig Wall (Home Beautiful)