A model of holistic sustainable design for modern low impact living, Solar Sollew combines multi-generational living with accessible house design, food production, carbon positive performance, water collection & re-use, earth tube cooling, phase change thermal mass, and full environmental materials specification.

It has a 9.1 star energy efficiency rating, and is carbon positive in energy. Other accolades include a Gold Level accessibility certification under the Living House Guidelines

The minimisation of heating and cooling loads were achieved primarily through passive design, while green switches in living areas allow standby loads to switch off when the room is unoccupied. Large external awning also gives total solar control, with no down lights specified to compromise insulation.

Key initiatives:

  • Espaliered fruit forest and productive garden
  • Water collection, efficiency and grey water reuse
  • Cutting edge sustainable technologies, including earth tube cooling system; recycled glass, polished eco-slab; phase change thermal mass; environmental building control management system to automate passive systems
  • Comprehensive environmental materials specification
  • Healthy interior in which the multi-generational family can live and grow
  • Energy efficient appliance selection, including LED lighting (high light levels postpone any lighting until dark)
  • 100% roof area collection of rainwater; 7,000L rainwater tank to run laundry, flush toilets, and drip-irrigate raised vegetable gardens and fruit trees
  • Redwater thermal transfer valves to direct ‘cold’ hot water usually wasted down the drain to the water tank

Photography by Simon Black