Holiday Haven – low running costs, great comfort
The house has been designed to provide intimate accommodation for a semi-retired couple when they are on their own (most of the time), while comfortably accommodating their extended family when visiting – especially the grandchildren. Compactness has been achieved by carefully designing space with multiple uses and clever storage solutions. The design was inspired by the clients creative resolution, utilising simple, low technology approaches.
The clients’ brief was to design a delightful, sustainable home where they could retire to. This involved rebuilding a new home on the site of their holiday house in the Yuraygir National Park, that enable them to make the most of the exquisite coastal environment while enjoying their hobbies of photography, gardening, cooking, walking and swimming.
- 9 x 167W photovoltaic panels
- Solar gas boosted hot water system
- 2 x 18,000 litre water tanks
- Ceiling fans – in bedrooms and living room
- Energy efficient lights throughout – various types
- Thermally improved low E glazed aluminium windows/doors
- Highly insulated wall/roof systems
- Premium or MR EO MDF board for all joinery
- Low/no VOC paints and finishes throughout
- Flued gas fireplace to living room
- Food-producing gardens including chickens
|Project Name:||Holiday Haven|
|Project Architect:||Caroline Pidcock of PIDCOCK – Architecture + Sustainability|
|Location:||Yuraygir National Park|
|Clients:||A semi-retired couple with numerous cats, a couple of dogs. Children and grandchildren regularly visiting.|
|Year of Completion:||2013|
|Building Area:||House 233 m2, Block 745 m2|
|Climate Zone:||Zone 2, warm humid summer, mild winter|
As such, the house includes a number of different spaces that work well at different times of the year and in different climatic conditions to ensure the occupants can comfortably enjoy the place throughout the year.
The carefully designed north orientation allows for solar gain in cooler months, while excluding the sun in summer. The insulated building envelope enables this to be well managed. The site is in a highly exposed location – the clients talk about it feeling like they are at the deck of a boat at times. While this can be difficult, it also ensures cooling winds throughout the warmer months.
The following is a quote from the client in the winter after moving in:
Thermally it has been A1.The flooring in the living area has heated the whole end of the house to 21–22ºC regardless of outside temperature. The heat lingers through the night. The hallway area is also appreciably warmer than the un-sunned rooms, i.e. laundry and main bathroom. Our dog loves the warm floors, especially when the sun is on them.
Peter O’Sullivan [builder] has also remarked on how warm it is indoors at our place. I have saved hundreds of dollars in heating costs.
We have not paid a thing for electricity consumption as the photovoltaic cells have consistently returned a credit to our quarterly account. We have only paid for gas. Today I was dressed in shorts and t-shirt inside, but it was windy and about 16ºC outside.”
What challenges did the project face in terms of sustainability?
The site is very exposed and has a covenant imposed by the neighbour to the north, who overlooks the site. However, there was enough space to work around this, and the constraints enabled a more restrained and ultimately sustainable outcome
Energy, Water and resource Efficiency and Consumption results
Energy efficiency achieved through
- highly efficient building envelope with good orientation
- low energy lighting and appliances
Energy consumption: $200/annum credit for electricity
Water efficiency achieved through
- high levels of water storage
- low water usage appliances
Water consumption: $100/annum
Gas consumption: $300/annum for gas
Resources Efficency achieved through
- all materials have been designed for longevity to extend their life cycle
- all materials have been selected for their sustainability credentials
BASIX: Water 58 (target 40), Energy 63 (target 40)