Project Description

Location: Downer ACT
Total Floor Area: 170m2
Year Completed: 2017
Architect: Light House Architecture & Science
EER: 8 stars

This knockdown rebuilt, which replaced a 1 star ex-govie with a super energy-efficient modern family home relied on great design and planning to deliver an 8 star home on a tricky North to the front block. The great design and efficient use of space feels and functions like a much larger home.

Sustainable Products & Features

  • Sanden heat pump (extremely efficient and low-energy water heating system)
  • Haiku ceiling fans to living areas. Haikus have the top ENERGY STAR® rankings for ceiling fans
  • Taubmans Low VOC paints
  • Australian plantation hardwood (not imported, not old-growth)
  • Austral Bricks clay commons bricks – left raw
  • Weathertex cladding which uses some recycled and some non-recycled components, was used on most of the exterior walls.
  • Cupolex recycled plastic dome slab system. These structural domes create a network of air voids in the slab, substantially reducing the amount of concrete needed.
  • High levels of insulation (R2.5 bulk wall insulation to external walls, R1.5 to internal walls and R5 ceiling insulation) to reduce heat transfer between inside and outside and between internal zones of the home.
  • Burnished and polished concrete slab as the final floor finish to maximise absorption of free energy from the sun during winter and to act as a heat sink in summer.
  • ProClima Solitex vapour permeable membranes (fully taped at joins and penetrations to all external walls and under roof sheets) to ensure interstitial moisture control and minimise air movement past insulation.
  • Ventis Sub-Flow system – in cooler months this takes hot air from the roof space (which gets really hot even in winter due to Canberra’s sunny days) and pumps it into the air void below the rear, southern, bedroom-end of the slab to provide extra heat under the floor.
  • Locally fabricated uPVC framed double-glazing using Deceuninck profiles.
  • Paperock, which is made of recycled paper and resin – the kitchen bench is made from Paperock.
  • Air tightness of just 4.4 airchanges per hour at 50Pa – achieved using standard construction methods ie. No special air barriers, just attention to detail and by minimising ceiling penetrations


Photos by Ben Wrigley Photography