The carbon-positive home that costs $2.35 a year to power
Melbourne-based architectural firms The Sociable Weaver and Clare CousinArchitects have joined forces to create what is claimed to beAustralia's first 10-star carbon-positive home. The stunning 10 StarHome was built with a zero-waste philosophy and was designed topositively exceed its carbon footprint over the lifespan of the home,anticipating savings of 203 kg (507 lb) of carbon emissions per occupant peryear.
"The10 Star Home is Victoria's first home to have a 10 star energyrating," Nat Woods from the Sociable Weaver tells New Atlas. "We believe it also to be the first home in Australia that is10 star, carbon positive and built to zero-waste and building biologyphilosophies – we like to call it the full sustainabilitypackage deal."
The10 Star Home was designed and created as an example of how asustainable home can still be modern, functional and beautiful. The160-sqm (1,722-sq ft) home was built using traditional construction techniques and producing as little waste as possible, with only three bags of trash ending upin landfill. The "zero-waste" goal was achieved by askingsuppliers to reduce packaging for materials delivered on site, whilethe rest was recycled or re-purposed. For example, plasterboardoff-cuts were added to the garden bed.
"Thehome follows standard construction processes," says Woods. "We deliberately optedfor processes and technology that are readily available in the marketand affordable. We didn't want to design a home that requiredexpensive technology or complex processes that not all builders arefamiliar with. Allefforts were [also] taken to ensure as little waste to landfill wasgenerated during construction."
Thehome features a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) hardwood cladexterior, polished industrial concrete floors with underslab insulation,passive solardesign and abutterfly-shaped roof that offers high ceilings inside the home,maximum solar penetration for passive solar heating and cross-flowventilation toheat and cool the home. Furthermore, the home includes 5 kW of solarpanels on the roof, Sanden Heat Pump hot water service, 10,000-liter (2,642 gal)rainwater tank, double-glazed windows, LED lighting and non-toxicfurnishings throughout. According to The Sociable Weaver the energybill of the home isanticipated to be as little asAUD$3 (US$2.35) per year.
"Passivesolar design maximizes solar penetration through large north-facingwindows and thermal mass to trap heat during the day and then releaseit at night," says Woods. "We have used a new insulationtechnology called bio-Phase Change Material (bioPCM) which isinstalled in the walls and ceilings to trap and release heat. Even ona cold Victorian winter's day the home is still noticeably warminside without the need for any mechanical heating."
Theinterior of the home features a large contemporary kitchen thatoverlooks the open plan living and dining areas. Largefloor-to-ceiling glass windows take advantage of the beautifulcoastal location and soft neutral colors help the home blend into itsnatural landscape. The rest of the home is complete with a sleekbathroom and simple open bedroom designs.
The architects chose tofurnish the home with local and sustainable Australian products,including timber furniture made from reclaimed or sustainably-sourced wood, organic cottonmattresses and bedding, non-toxic cleaning products, air-purifyingindoor plants, and right down to bamboo toothbrushes in the bathrooms. Furthermore, the interior finishes of the home haveall been completed with non-toxic paints and finishes.
"Welove the warm and welcoming feel that the home has," says Woods. "As soon as youstep inside you feel relaxed and at peace – which is fantasticseeing as we use the home as our office!"
The10 Star Home is priced at AUD$490,000 (approx. US$386,400) and the home is currently open to the public as a display home. Thearchitects hope other builders and architects can takeinspiration from the home's green design and use the home as a modelfor future projects.
"We also want to continue to push the boundaries ofsustainable building in Australia, encouraging all builders anddesigners to think about simple ways that they can build homes thatare kinder to the planet," says Woods.
TheSociable Weaver is currently preparing to build its next home in theMullum Creek eco-village development, which is anticipated to be complete bymid 2018.
Source: The Sociable Weaver