Reduse - reuse – recycle. This was the client’s mantra that informed Gruen Eco Design to create a truly sustainable family home and also to keep within their restricted budget of under $300,000.
Construction materials, old kitchen cabinets, existing floors boards, bricks, bench tops, appliances and fixtures and fittings were reused throughout the house or sourced second hand.
Two rainwater tanks provide sufficient water for toilets and irrigation of veggie patches and orchard. Added insulation in walls, ceilings and floors, together with double glazed windows create a highly energy efficient house 8.1 star home that barely needs mechanical heating or cooling.
Non-toxic low VOC finishes have been used throughout the project to ensure an optimal indoor air quality for its occupants.
- R3.5 insulation for larger studs walls and floors and R5.0 batts for the ceiling
- The concrete floor insulated with R1.9 insulation and the roof has R6.0 insulation batts
- New double glazed UPVC Windows have been installed throughout
- Led and fluorescent lighting have been used throughout the extension
- No down lights are used within the house to avoid potential loss of ceiling insulation
- An exhaust fan has been installed behind the fridge to extract hot air and optimise the efficiency of the fridge
- The door towards the pantry has been sealed and the pantry also has an exhaust fan to allow for better temperature control
- Two rainwater tanks have been installed. A 5,000l tank that collects the water from the existing roof and a new 10,000l tank back in the garden that collects the water from the extension
- The existing gas hot water system has been remained as it is still in good working order and will be upgraded at the end of its lifespan
- Taps and mixers have been reused from the existing part of the house or were sourced second hand where possible. Any new taps or mixers have a WELS rating of 3 stars minimum
- Slow combustion wood heater in living/kitchen/dining room
- New Nobo heaters but barely needed
- Worm farm, composting
- Veggie patch, orchard
- Non-toxic finishes used throughout the house
- Old kitchen cabinets, existing floors boards, bricks, bench tops, appliances and fixtures and fittings were reused throughout the house or sourced second hand
- Concrete floor as thermal mass in extension
- The original external brick wall towards the garden has been exposed in the new double storey staircase and acts as additional thermal mass
- Openable highlight windows in the double storey void help to purge hot air and low light windows in the living room allowing cooler air into the building
- A water feature outside the low light windows on the north side also helps to cool down the air in summer
- A small opening has been installed on the southern side of the kitchen to allow for a direct cross ventilation of the kitchen/living/dining room