Woodforde, Adelaide, South Australia

A home situated on a narrow west facing block demonstrates what is possible with modern construction techniques and a collaborative interdisciplinary team. The home was designed to keep energy use low, with a strong emphasis on solar passive design features such as orientation, glazing, insulation and thermal mass. The result has delivered an impressively air-tight home for demonstration purposes, with a NatHERS energy star rating at the top of the scale.

Video: Blue Tribe Co.

NatHERS thermal comfort rating

10 Stars

Heating: 1.0MJ/m²/year
Cooling: 2.0MJ/m²/year
Total: 3.0MJ/m²/year

Sustainability features

•    Sealed airtight building (0.6 ACH) 
•    R4.5 bulk insulation in walls
•    uPVC double-glazed windows
•    Thermally-broken doors and windows
•    Thermal mass (concrete slab-on-ground and internal concrete block wall)
•    Fixed vertical and horizontal shading
•    Smart building control systems include automated windows, window shades, ventilation systems and fans to automatically manage internal temperatures and air quality based on internal and external conditions.
•    Locally sourced and non-toxic products (90 per cent of materials taken from the site were recycled in the build)
•    All-electric house with a 5kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system
•    Energy-efficient appliances
•    LED lighting

A photo of the street view of the Woodforde case study home

Fixed shading is optimised for control of solar entry while maximising natural daylight. View the 3D walk-through of this home.

Photo: Dan Schultz © SUHO

A photo of a concrete slab floor and internal brick wall.

Thermal mass in the concrete slab floor and internal brick walls keeps the home at a stable temperature.

Photo: Dan Schultz © SUHO

Project details

Building type: Low density housing
NCC climate zone: 5 – warm temperate
Designer: SUHO
Builder: Woolcock Construction
Size: 135m² 
Size of land: 310m²
Cost of build: approx. $4,500 per m²


A photo of the northern outdoor area of the home.

The outdoor area faces north for passive warming in winter. Clerestory windows have smart automated shutters and can be programmed to open and close according to specific weather conditions.

Photo: Dan Schultz © SUHO

A photo of the bedroom in a home.

Reverse brick veneer walls create warmth and texture inside the home.

Photo: Dan Schultz © SUHO

A floor plan of the house design.

Floor plan

Source: SUHO


Video production by Blue Tribe Co.

Text by Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 

Learn more

  • Next case study - Perth, WA 
  • View the 3D walk-through of this home
  • Explore Shading to find out more about optimising shading devices to increase comfort in your home
  • Read Ventilation and airtightness for more information on controlling air flow to improve thermal performance
  • Learn more about Building rating tools and the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme to better understand energy star ratings.