Oftentimes our image of a sustainable, environmentally conscious building brings to mind recycled car tyres, hessian bags and glass bottle walls. While these earthship-style homes are innovative and certainly get an environmental tick, they aren't for everyone, so it's always great to see an eco-friendly design that looks just like any other house house, like Yallingup Eco House...
After purchasing a 120 acre farm in picturesque south Western Australia, this young and growing family commission Threadgold Architecture to design this energy efficient eco house. Set high on a hill to take in views of the Yallingup countryside and supporting the clients' design for a sustainable lifestyle, this off-grid home uses passive solar design to reduce energy consumption.
Surrounded by a permaculture farm of citrus, nut and fruit orchards, the home takes in commanding views of the property. But the home is sited to take advantage of more than just the views. A passive solar design also helps to reduce energy consumption. It's position high on the hill allows it to catch cooling breezes. A North orientation allows the home to bring in warming sunlight during winter and in the warmer months, bays of folding glass doors and louvre windows allow it to naturally vent.
"During the warmer south west days, the owners open the Breezeway glass louvres to the underside of roof eaves on the northern elevation to generate cross ventilation and cool the kitchen, living and dining areas." - Stuart Threadgold
The architect has calculated that during winter, direct sunlight reaches over 85% of the living floor space. All that sunlight is absorbed by the honed concrete floor which helps to keep the home warm overnight.
Threadgold Architecture incorporated materials with a low-embodied energy to reduce to overall impact of the build. Rammed limestone is used as a wall on south side of the home, which also helps to store heat and moderate the temperature of the home year-round.
A 5.5 kilowatt hour photo voltaic array is hidden behind a zinc-clad parapet, silently powering the house. Rainwater is harvested for use in the house and a 440 litre solar hot water system with wood fire box booster keeps means long hot showers aren't a luxury.