This project offers a holistic approach to environmental sustainability commencing with the design and placement of access paths. The vehicle access path is placed along the site edge and area that requires annual clearing for the firebreak. This enabled the architects to minimise the clearing of land.

The materials required to build the access path were quarried from the site (gravel and clean yellow sand). These areas were immediately rehabilitated with plant species already existing on the site.

Materials were selected based on a life cycle analysis of embodied energy. The entire building is clad in Colorbond Monument (roof, walls and soffit) which provides a durable exterior core, minimises visual impact, and absorbs the much needed heat.

The building structure is 90 per cent treated plantation pine, and was mostly prefabricated to minimise building waste. Furniture and cabinets were constructed from hoop pine plantation plywood, and inhabited areas include recycled Jarrah and WA Blackbutt. Timber off cuts were re-used for storeroom linings.

Grade 450 steel plates provide sun shade and perforated crimped sheets filter views. A north facing Webforge balcony collects sun while viewing the landscape.

Key initiatives:

  • Long roof form increases the capacity to capture rainwater, which is reused in the house
  • Grey water is recycled for garden watering under the house; water consumption is reduced with rated fixtures and fittings
  • Water is heated from a solar hot water system with back up instantaneous gas hot water systems located close to areas of water use to minimise water waste
  • Photovoltaic cells balanced over the year easily cover consumption requirements, while power consumption is minimised through energy efficient equipment, LED and Compact Fluorescent globes
  • Applied coatings are minimised and generally low VOC or oil
  • Living spaces oriented north for passive heat gain; floor insulated to hold heat
  • Openings are placed to facilitate ventilation and night purging

Photography by Peter Bennetts