A More Sustainable Lifestyle, at Home on the Gold Coast (carbon neutral)
Images for an evolving design to help our clients shift comfortably towards a more sustainable lifestyle on the Gold Coast. Under construction during 2021 through 2022.
Images are a mixture of photographs during construction, with earlier renders of the project.
The design is based on the existing bones of an old brick veneer home. The original home was not insulated, and suffered substantial termite damage.
The new design sits on the existing floor slab but creates a new home which is well insulated and sealed. It faces the morning sun, catching cooling breezes.
It is designed to be net-zero (carbon neutral) after construction. This includes through active design decisions to reduce the embodied carbon in the build, and that needed to run the house after construction. A detailed audit has been undertaken prior to construction, with another due to be completed post construction. Carbon credits are intended to be purchased by the owners to offset those emissions which could not be designed out in the process.
The active systems in the home include: substantial solar PV system with batteries leaving grid as a backup, mechanical ventilation system to extract heat with operable roof louvre system and automatic windows to allow winter heat gains while excluding in summer, hydronic heating to the floor, and air conditioning for humidity control. Electric chargers are designed to be included for cars, bikes and boat. Substantial water tanks are designed to be connected to all roof areas, and plumbed back to the entire home, and pool – leaving mains water as a backup.
The existing site was cut by multiple driveways and retaining walls with the garage located on the north-east corner of the home. These are all removed and re-used or recycled. The final site has limited extent of impervious driveway. Much of the site is given back to native species for wildlife habitat, edible vegetable and fruits, and stormwater catchment through a ”dry creek bed” system of swales to use and re-use water from the site. The new garage is hidden from the home by a green roof, leaving the home sitting in landscape rather than a carpark.
The masterplan for the site included for the potential for a small secondary dwelling (granny flat or home office) with a third pavillion for independent living (caretakers). The house itself is also designed with the potential to operate as independent pavilions for an extended or co-house style of living, as the residents needs change and the planning codes evolve over time. The overarching intent was to design for a higher use for the land on which the buildings sit, and of which the current residents are stewards for a time. This is a larger site in an area serviced by existing infrastructure and public transport, with a large home which should be able to serve more than a single household.
Updates to follow during construction.
Images by Scott Burrows Photography