Haven 8.5

Multi-award-winning Belmont project responds to the client's specific goals for energy efficiency, sustainability and a healthy living environment

Bios and Eco Select successfully collaborated on the Haven 8.5 project to win the award for Best Energy Efficient Design – Residential in the BDAV’s 2014 Building Design Awards. The project was also a joint winner of Best Sustainable Design in the inaugural NABD Awards presented in 2014 by the National Association of Building Designers.

This three-bedroom sustainable dwelling in Belmont (Geelong) is true to its character, and is in complete harmony with its environment, its owner’s requirements, its building materials and its performance. The project is set on an infill site to the rear of an existing house; it is a ‘battle-axe’ block, with a northerly aspect to the rear.

The client’s brief was to create an energy efficient and sustainable home, with a high level of indoor air quality, and also to maximise the sustainable use of resources. Every opportunity to maximise thermal performance aspects have been explored in developing this project: orientation, thermal mass, high levels of insulation; cross ventilation and judicious use of glazing; and retaining existing deciduous shading. In the process, the designers have created a light and airy home, which is healthy and comfortable, and will easily adapt to changing occupant requirements.

The client had specific goals for the energy efficiency, sustainability and healthy living environment for this project. Allergies and chemical sensitivity specifically required supplementary ventilation to maintain the indoor air quality. Priorities for the client included holistic sustainable living with passive solar design, recycled renewable low VOC materials, sustainable land use, sustainable water use and energy efficiency.

In addition to the passive design of the house, selection and reuse of materials and resources has been thoughtfully considered. Some construction materials and many of the fittings have been recycled/repurposed. The active systems used in the house include a PV system (which generates approximately eight of the average nine kilowatt hours used daily) and a passivhaus heat exchange ventilation system to maintain indoor air quality without losing thermal performance; as well as a hydronic system to boost warmth on overcast winter days.

By any measure, the 8.5 star rating, or staying below 26 degrees inside during five days of 40+ degree heat in January 2014, is a successful outcome. The home has no need for supplementary cooling, and hence has no impact on peak energy demand.

During the January 2014 heat wave, while it was 45 degrees in the shade of the carport, the indoor temperature maintained a comfortable 22 degrees for the majority of the day with a 25 degree maximum by 7pm. At day five of the heatwave, the house averaged 24 degrees during the day with a maximum of 26 degrees without any supplementary cooling.

The house is consistently maintaining a 20 degree differential between the outdoor and indoor temperature due to the passive design, thermal mass and the highly sealed and insulated building envelope.

This home was a worthy winner in this category, and a great collaboration between these two design firms, who are both committed to sustainable design.


Designers:  Bios and Eco Select
Builder:  Homes with Integrity
Photographer:  Alex Gotto-Cumbers

To view a video of Fleur Pitman from EcoSelect and Greg McNeil from Bios at the 2014 NABD Design Awards, CLICK HERE.

Sustainable native timbers feature in the decking, pergolas, fascia and barge boards. The project also features a 1.75kW PV system
Sustainable native timbers feature in the decking, pergolas, fascia and barge boards. The project also features a 1.75kW PV system - Images: Alex Gotto-Cumbers