51 Nullaburra Rd. NewportNewport - New build
Completed in 2009
This home was designed to feel like a tropical resort. It has a relaxed style well suited to the Northern Beaches. The focal point of the home is the tiled pool & water feature, surrounded by hardwood decking & gardens.
This home is L shaped with the living spaces located along the longest elevation facing north. The bedrooms & utility rooms are therefore located on the east & west. The highlight windows in the living areas capture the low angle winter sun, providing warmth & natural light. In summer the eaves shade the glazing preventing the high angle sunrays entering the home. Shading is provided from the potentially harsh western & eastern sun by landscaping where practical.
Louvre windows are located strategically to invite the prevailing summer breezes & encourage cross ventilation. Ceiling fans assist air movement keeping the occupants cool in summer. The fans are switched to reverse in winter to encourage warm air to move downwards reducing the amount of mechanical heating required.
The house is fully insulated to a high standard to reduce the need for mechanical heating & cooling. The house has no mechanical cooling installed other than ceiling fans. The heating installed is an open fireplace & gas ducted heating. A more sustainable solution would have been to install hydronic underfloor heating run from a heat pump which is powered by PV solar panels.
Research is currently taking place to fit this house with solar photovoltaic roof panels & a re-cyclable non-lithium battery storage so that the house is entirely energy self sufficient. Energy efficient lighting that has been installed includes compact fluorescent & LED light fittings. Most of the appliances selected are energy efficient. The cooktop is gas, which is not a sustainable energy source. A better choice would be an induction cooktop, powered by solar PV. Swimming pools consume a lot of energy. The energy usage will be offset once the solar system is installed. An attractive hardwood clothesline was designed to integrate with the garden, to facilitate natural clothes drying rather than using an electric clothes dryer.
Heating is solar vacuum tubes.
The external cladding is pine weatherboards, sustainable plantation grown, a material which has a low embodied energy. Trees are a renewable resource & have the added benefit of absorbing carbon dioxide & release oxygen in the growing process. Decking & feature timbers are AFS certified spotted gum responsibly sourced. Floorboards are AFS blackbutt finished in low VOC (low tox) oil. Concrete was kept to a minimum as it is a high carbon material. Joinery carcases are made from low tox EO laminex board. Interior paints are low tox Dulux acrylic. Aluminium windows were used which has a high embodied energy & are a poor choice for thermal transfer. A more sustainable choice would have been timber windows.
Water tanks 30,000 litres supply the swimming pool, gardens, toilets & washing machine.
Chemical reduction- Low VOC finishes as mentioned previously. The swimming pool is a freshwater pool using an ioniser system rather than a chlorinator.
A worm farm & compost bin assist in the recycling of food scraps, reducing the amount of greenhouse gas that would be produced if it was sent to landfill. A kitchen garden utilizes these nutrients from the compost & worm farm. The vegetables produced reduce the families carbon footprint by reducing transport of food. There are also health benefits for the family as no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers are used & the composted nutrients in the soil transfer to the vegetables that are grown.