Freshwater, Sydney, New South Wales

An inner Sydney house built on a small and difficult site, uses solar passive design and ‘Passive House’ principles to achieve a comfortable and compact home. The homeowners bought the parcel of land with pre-approved house designs, so there was little scope for changing the design of the home. Siting the house to take advantage of solar passive heating and cooling was difficult but achievable. 

Video: Blue Tribe Co.

NatHERS thermal comfort rating

7.2 Stars

Heating: 19.2MJ/m²/year
Cooling: 16.9MJ/m²/year
Total: 36.1MJ/m²/year

Sustainability features

•    Sealed airtight building with mechanical heat recovery ventilation 
•    Innovative new bulk insulation made from timber waste 
•    R2.7 bulk insulation in walls
•    R5.1 insulation in ceiling (additional batts added later)
•    Waffle pods used in slab-on-ground
•    uPVC double-glazed windows
•    Solar photovoltaic (PV) system 
•    Electric vehicle
•    125L electric storage hot water system with smart diverter connected to rooftop solar PV
•    Energy-efficient appliances
•    Fibro cladding on typical timber construction
•    LED lighting
•    3000L water tank under garage
•    Recycled and reused building materials and interiors

Project details

Building type: Low density housing
NCC climate zone: 5 – warm temperate
Designer: SDA (Space Design Architecture)
Builder: Lars Fischer Construction
Size: 115m² 
Size of land: 200.5m²
Cost of build: $700,000 (excluding landscaping)

Graph showing the solar production and consumption

This graph shows the home’s typical daily energy consumption and production from the 6kW rooftop solar PV. Solar energy production is used primarily to heat water in the mornings (first blue peak), followed by charging the electric car battery (second blue peak). 

Source: Homeowner

Lower level floorplan

Lower level flooplan.

Source: (SDA) Space Design Architecture

Upper level floorplan

Upper level flooplan.

Source: (SDA) Space Design Architecture

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