This country home is a triple threat – livable, self-sufficient and energy efficient.
This country home was designed by owner/architect David Leece of Billard Leece architects. The main design objectives included self-sufficiency, energy efficiency and livability. Set high on top a 360 acre property in the Victorian country town of Jindvick, the home is positioned to get the best of the north westerly aspect whilst maximising the stunning views.
The livability objective is evident in the homes large living spaces and modern contemporary finishes. Large windows and sliding doors provide ample natural light, connecting the inside with the outer landscape.
In achieving self sufficiency it was imperative that all the energy be generated on site and the home be completely ‘off grid’.
Electricity is powered solely by Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels which use photovoltaic cells to make use of renewable energy from the sun, and are a clean and environmentally sound means of collecting solar energy.
A timber furnace provides the energy for hydronic heating and a solid fuel fireplace in the living room make use of the natural timber resources on the property.
Five water tanks provide 115,000 litre water storage capacities, 50% of which can be isolated for fire fighting. The rooftop is fitted with a sprinkler system that will spray the entire house in case of a bush fire, an important feature for any home built in the Victorian bush.
The ‘insulated box’ design is based upon a European model and is the principal element of the overall energy efficiency of the home. Ceilings, walls and floors are all insulated reducing the energy requirements of the home.
Light weight construction materials were used for safety, ease of handling and energy efficient qualities. James Hardie Scyon™ Secura™ external flooring was selected for its simplicity to install and protection against moisture damage, and Hardie lighter weight fibre cement sheet was the product of choice for easy handling.
Design innovation is evidenced in both the construction model of the ‘insulated box’ and the self sufficiency of the home. The use of innovative and new technologies such as the biolytix system for recycling sewerage waste and the return to old techniques such as a wood fired furnace for heating. Implementation of these systems reduce the financial cost if energy production as well as the environmental impact producing long term benefits to the family home and community.