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Award Winning Sustainable House in New South Wales Paves Way to the Future

Australian architect Ian Bailey, who believes an energy efficient and environmentally friendly house costs no more than a conventional home, has built an award-winning sustainable house in his home of Hannam Vale.

Mr. Bailey designed this impressive abode for a couple who required space for themselves and a few occasional guests in a space that was environmentally-friendly. “With no services at the site, the house needed to address issues such as self-reliance on potable water harvesting and storage, generation and storage of its own energy, treatment and recycling of waste water, and both active and passive bushfire protection, all accommodated in a contemporary rural design,” Bailey said. His clients demanded a low maintenance environment with excellent passive solar characteristics and high environmental credentials, and according to the data collected so far and the awards his creation has won, the local designer did a great job. Internal temperatures have been monitored since February 2009, and so far they’ve never gone over 26 degrees Celsius or under 22.

“This project comes as close as it gets to providing for fully sustainable living off the power grid and without access to reticulated water and sewerage systems. This home provides a demonstration of how comfortable sustainable living can be achieved without compromising on any of the standards and features associated with modern living.” said one of the judges of the many competitions where the Hannam Vale house was entered. Passive heating and cooling of the house is supplemented through ceiling fans and an efficient slow combustion heater equipped with a water jacket. All fittings and appliances have also been chosen for maximum efficiency.

Bailey believes building a sustainable house doesn’t have to cost more than a normal one. “It will probably cost less, because measures to shade, heat or cool the house will be reduced thanks to key elements, such as window placement for cross ventilation, and incorporation of thermal mass in the dwelling. In addition, the ongoing running costs will certainly be less, apart from the comfort and amenity of living there” he says. ” If you get the balance right between orientation, insulation, cross ventilation and thermal mass, you’ll end up with a good result.” The Hannam Vale landscape did pose some challenges because although it offers some stunning views, they are mainly to the south and good passive solar design required most of the windows to face north. In the end the house needed to be stretched a little.

The home won a Commendation Award in the Institute of Architects NSW Country Division in the category “Residential – New Houses”, and has just been announced winner in the Master Builders Association Awards, in the Open Category for Excellence in Building Awards Newcastle, for Energy Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability.

via Camden Courier 

 

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