Generous proportions, integrated indoor and outdoor living, and affordability were some of the reasons the ‘Paradigm Shift’ won the prestigious 10-Star Sustainable Design Challenge for 2017. A project by Sustainability House, the 10-star sustainable home was designed for the Adelaide climate and gave ‘affordable housing’ a boost with total build costs adding up to less than $390,000.

The 10-Star home was recognised by Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) for its versatility and adaptability for a growing family, as well as its considered use of thermal mass and insulation and solar energy. A 5kW solar PV system with battery storage eliminates any reliance on natural gas while a 12,000-litre rainwater storage tank reduces usage of mains water.

Paradigm Shift

Sustainability House director Jim Woolcock said the home represented a ‘fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions’. He explains that the inclusion of sustainable design at the concept stage can allow any new home or building to achieve similar outcomes.

Some of the design highlights in the Paradigm Shift house include minimum 920mm wide doorways for wheelchair access; a flat framed roof structure engineered to support loads on an additional level, providing adaptability for a growing family; Australian hardwood timber cladding complementing the landscape and streetscape; and well positioned PVC framed high performance double glazing and muted internal finishes creating a light-filled interior.

The Courtyard House

Maclaren Homes and Melbourne Design Studios won a commendation for ‘The Courtyard House’, which was inspired by an actual brief from a client for a four-bedroom home in Melbourne, and will be constructed this year. According to the judges, The Courtyard House ‘was a beautiful benchmark of localised sustainable living that suits the Australian way of life. The house was an inspiring reminder that with the right design, any home can deliver practical and efficient everyday living’.

The 10-Star Sustainable Design Challenge offers Victoria’s building design community the opportunity to conceptualise and design 10-Star energy efficient homes, which combine admirable design with efficient planning solutions and use of materials.