Hampton House Habitech exterior facade

Hampton House is a highly sustainable family home that utilises intelligent technology to minimise energy consumption.


The clients were seeking a thermally stable and energy efficient five-bedroom house in the bayside Melbourne suburb of Hampton.

Space and a carefully considered floorplan were key elements of the brief; the clients needed enough room and separation to live comfortably with their three teenage children and any other family coming to visit.


Hampton House Habitech exterior detail

The house presents as a simple composition of three conjoined forms. On the left sits the garage, which is clad in weathered recycled hardwood to conceal the doors, while also contrasting with the white vertically grooved cladding on the majority of the house. The garage’s curved wall leads to a door in the void between the garage and front bedroom forms.

Above these forms, the upper level’s asymmetrical gable roof creates a large north-facing space for 6.5kW of solar panels to be mounted. Meanwhile, the upper level overhangs the ground floor to provide effective northern summer shading to the front door.

The house has been designed to potentially accommodate three different generations. In the centre of the house are the main living rooms, oriented north to maximise passive solar performance and open the house to the garden.

Hampton House Habitech backyard

Branching off the living zones are three separate bedroom zones. The parent’s retreat is at the rear, at the front is a spare room with a fold-down bed for the owner’s parents to stay, while the upper level is the children’s domain with their bedrooms, bathroom and a separate sitting room.

The house is all-electric, incorporating intelligent technology to minimise energy consumption. Systems include heat recovery ventilation, heat pump based hot water and hydronic heating. The house has a NatHERS rating of 7.6 Stars.

Sustainability features

Habitech Systems’ modular construction system has been used to deliver a super-insulated and air-tight building fabric, minimising the amount of heating and cooling required to keep the house comfortable. Specifically, Habitech’s modular Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) system was used to construct the walls and roof of the house. Custom cut-to-size, these panels deliver solid R4.3 wall insulation and R5.0 roof insulation without thermal bridging elements. This system provides the structure, insulation and cladding of the house.

Hampton House Habitech solar panels

Other features include:

  • The house is orientated to the north to maximise passive solar gains in winter, with window awnings and first floor overhangs calculated to shade the summer sun.
  • Solar passive heating is captured onto a waffle pod slab in winter.
  • Carefully designed window shading excludes the summer sun, with the thermal mass of the waffle pod moderating internal temperatures.
  • Thermal transfer through the concrete floor slab has been minimised by the use of a waffle pod slab with full slab-edge Insulation.
  • The house achieved a NatHERS rating of 7.6 Stars.
  • The house is tightly sealed to keep cold and hot external air from entering the house. A door blower test is yet to be undertaken, but Habitech building fabrics have achieved under 2 air changes per hour at 50Kpa.
  • A Heat Recovery Ventilation unit has been used to save energy while providing filtered fresh air to the house in a controlled way. This system passes exhaust air from bathrooms and kitchen past incoming fresh air and is able to exchange 90 percent of its heat or cold air across to the incoming air. This system not only improves internal air quality by distributing fresh air throughout the house but does it without the energy penalty of opening windows when external air temperatures are cold or hot.
  • Double glazed timber window and doors are used throughout the house.
  • The house has all electric services, with the hot water and hydronic slab heating being provided by high efficiency electric heat pumps.
  • The active energy systems in the house are zoned and programmed to minimise energy use.
  • A 6.5kW solar array generates the vast majority of the house’s energy demands from on-site renewable energy. By not connecting to the gas network, the house is able to be fully run by renewable energy.
  • The combustion stove in the living room has been surrounded with a masonry thermal heat sink. The flue of the unit provides further heating by passing through and heating the upper level bathroom.
  • Provision was made in the design to allow for the future installation of further solar panels on the large north facing roof area.
  • An outdoor clothesline at the rear of the lot is accessed directly from the laundry.
  • 15,000 litre rainwater tanks supply the garden, toilet cisterns and washing machine.
  • The landscaping has been designed using native species that require little watering and are drought tolerant once established.