Above is a near complete progress shot of the front of the house. Painting is complete and the external paving and retaining works are underway. Note the photovoltaic panels just poking above the higher roof.
The house has many sustainable features and the rear wall of the house is the 'engine room' for most of them. In the image above from left to right:
- To the very left is the 23,000 litre rainwater storage tank. This tank provides all of the potable water needs for the house, ie; drinking, cooking and showering water.
- The vertical white rectangular box is the gas heating unit for the underfloor hydronic heating system
- Next is the white vertical 'tube' which is the first flush system for the rainwater tank. A first flush system diverts the first flush of each rainfall away from the rainwater storage tank preventing any dust, silt or contaminants from making it into the houses water supply
- The next three matching 'boxes' are the greywater recycling system. This system takes greywater from showers, basins and the washing machine and cleans and recycles it for re-use within the house for flushing toilets and back to the washing machine. It is also used for watering gardens and lawns
- The next two items are part of the solar hot water system. On the ground is the hot water storage tank and on the wall is the gas heating booster which is used when there is insufficient sun to provide the solar heating for the hot water.
- And finally on the ground is the start of the installation of the pumping system for sending the rainwater through out the house.
The front entry of the house has been designed to act as a two storey breezeway, circulating air throughout the house. At the top of the image you can see the louvre windows that form the main functional component of the breezeway, providing very fine control over airflow and direction. By selecting the right louvres to open it is possible to facilitate direct cross ventilation, diverted cross ventilation to another part of the house, and on still draw by opening all of the louvres, stack effect can be utilised by allowing hot air to rise and draw through cooler air from below.
Carpets can be a significant issue when it comes to green building. Many carpets and underlays have high VOC emissions, are made from non-renewables and are non-renewable at the end of their life, so it is important to select with care. The carpet we will be using is a low VOC 100% wool carpet which is laid on a underlay that is made from recycled clothing, shredded to from a soft underlay.
Towards the back of the image, the recycled timber architraves and skirting boards can be seen.