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Best Energy Efficient Design - Residential

Eco Castle

Best Energy Efficient Design – Residential
Clever Design
(03) 6248 8283
www.cleverdesign.com.au
Richard Eastwood

The Castle Forbes Bay house, situated on the fringe of Tasmania’s famous southern forests with majestic southern views to the Huon River and Castle Forbes Bay, won the residential award for Best Energy Efficient Design. The clients wanted a home that was totally autonomous, self-sustainable with a great aesthetic that also complemented the natural rural bush setting. Fundamental to the brief, the design was to use passive solar principles with a minimum of 5 star rating and incorporate as many sustainable features as possible. Additionally, their brief included open plan living with external entertaining areas, a rumpus room and the master bedroom zoned from the other bedrooms. Importantly, as owner/builders, the clients had strict budgetary requirements of $280,000.

The design has achieved a holistic approach to all aspects of the development that represents a truly environmentally sustainable design. It fits in with the clients’ philosophy to have “no running costs” and minimal maintenance or water and power in or out of the site. This was achieved with a stand-alone solar powered system using 12 photo-voltaic collectors mounted at a specific pitch with a large battery storage capacity. A series of water tanks were also installed for rain water harvesting, and a self-composting toilet is utilised for managing waste on site. Careful selection of all appliances and fittings, together with a central free standing woodheater used for winter months, maintains efficient low usage of self generated power.

Due to the stand-alone photo-voltaic system, all appliances chosen are the most energy efficient available. These include Skandiluxe vestfrost fridge/freezer and a Thermalux gourmet woodheater/stove. The woodheater’s renewable fuel source is gathered off the 6.8 hectare property. All lighting is low wattage CFL globes and a Grundfos water pump has also been installed.

The Judges were unanimous that this project was worthy of this Award. “The remoteness of this site means that this house is dependent on the power it can generate itself. The designer has employed appropriate technologies to ensure that the house is almost completely self-sufficient in terms of power consumption. Passive solar design techniques ensure that the energy consumption is low, thereby enabling the building to generate sufficient power from a photo-voltaic system. The house is an excellent example of what can be achieved with mainstream technologies and considered design,” said the Judges.