The Winmalee Eco Home in the Blue Mountains constructed by Blue Eco Homes in collaboration with local architect Ross Young has just won the 2010 MBA Awards Environmental Management Award.  

The Eco Home is a 7½ star modern, low impact, low maintenance and low energy use family home that blends with the landscape and also incorporates a wide range of environmentally sustainable design principles as well as green technologies.    

Some of the features include corrugated iron and rust-painted compressed sheet walls, a floor plan that responds to the site contours as well as a curved roofline and unpretentious louvered windows that meld seamlessly with the bush backdrop.  

Bedroom wings fan out from the central living, kitchen and dining areas, with the main living areas and children’s bedrooms opening on to a large covered verandah offering views of the bush.  

Joe Mercieca, Director of Blue Eco Homes says that they managed a great deal of research and co-operation between various trades to apply the full range of environmentally-sound design responses and technologies needed to achieve the high degree of self-sufficiency for the home.  

The technologies included a clever glazing system from Evolution Windows, which applied passive heating and cooling principles to achieve maximum solar exposure and control while adhering to bush fire-resistant requirements.  

Viridian ThermoTech E double glazed or louver windows with Low Emissivity glass were installed to admit excellent levels of visible light into the home. An additional feature of the Low E glass windows is their superior insulating properties that help maintain uniform temperature levels in the home to reduce heating or cooling requirements.  

Michael Brookes of Evolution Windows says that the door and louver window openings were well-placed to provide ventilation diagonally through rooms, while glazing and overhangs were designed to allow maximum solar entry for winter heating and minimum entry of summer sun.  

Other green technologies installed in the eco home include energy-efficient heating and cooling methods such as a hot water-activated heating system in the concrete floor slab that uses a roof-mounted system of frost-tolerant evacuated tube collectors to produce hot water all year round.  

A ‘whole of house’ water system ensures complete self-reliance for the eco home residents and makes maximum use of rainwater as well as wastewater resources.  

Renewable energy is sourced with a 4.2 kilowatt photovoltaic grid of connected panels that collects enough energy to power the home’s energy needs.   

Viridian (formerly Pilkington and DMS Glass) specialises in a comprehensive range of energy-efficient and eco-friendly glass products and glazing systems for residential and commercial buildings.