- April 1, 2017
The brief was to convert a run down weatherboard workmans cottage into an architect designed, passive solar home, in harmony with the local environment. Being on 25 acres, orientation was no issue, except for a number of well established large trees. Retaining the trees meant sitting the slab on 2.5 metre deep, 450mm wide pylons, so roots would not affect the integrity of the slab.
Nestled in the foothills of Mt Macedon, with views across to Hanging Rock and the Cowbaw ranges, the roofline was pitched at four differing angles to anchor the design in the rolling hill topography of the area.
Being very cold and damp over winter, thermal attributes were critical. The design boasts double glazed windows throughout with 15mm argon filled gap, polished concrete floors, reverse brick veneer internal walls to harness the heat from the winter sun and return to the rooms in the evening and most of the glass facing north. The resulting design often did not require heating on sunny winter days and on more cloudy days a single fireplace was usually sufficient.
Environmental sustainability is very important in the country. All rainwater is harvested to supply the house via two 23,000 litre water tanks with provisions to expand to 92,000 litres supply. the roof area and annual rainfall in the area would support such a supply. All grey and black water is retained on site via a treatment plant, which breaks the solids down to recycled water, which is pumped 200mm below ground to supply grass and trees with water all year.