With energy efficiency rapidly moving up the residential design agenda, Tasmanian-based architect Detlev Geard shows how sustainable living can also have a very stylish side.

A prime example of Detlev’s exciting designs is his latest project located in Acton Park, Tasmania. The residence, which took seven months to complete, has been praised for its environmental attributes as well as its aesthetic appeal, both of which have been supported by Detlev’s clever use of roofing and cladding made from BlueScope Steel’s Colorbond steel on the different exterior areas of the home.

The curvature that characterises much of the house’s design was chosen to suit its picturesque location and the sweeping views it has to the north. Also, it contains a number of standout features including a well-designed pergola with sundeck and a sheltered entertainment area.

In addition to giving Detlev maximum design flexibility to create this curvy design, his use of Colorbond steel has helped him attain a high level of energy efficiency for the house. Because of its low thermal mass, light coloured roofing made from Colorbond steel is often used to maximise thermal efficiency and reduce air-conditioning costs.

Detlev has installed passive solar heating with solar energy being captured through north facing windows and stored in the insulated concrete floor and internal block walls. “A soundly energy efficient system will rely on three things”, Detlev explains, “good insulation, thermal mass and north glazing. Materials such as Colorbond steel help me control the internal climate, which is especially important in the harsh Tasmanian winter weather. As well as being aesthetically appealing, Colorbond steel is low maintenance, available in a range of colours that suit my work and the locations where I design for.”

To maximise the available sunlight throughout the warmer months, Detlev has orientated the home towards the north. “Within a home the major energy expenditures are space heating and hot water supplies. In order to reduce the amount of energy wastage all living areas and bedrooms are located on the northern side in an effort to collect solar energy,” he says.