Project Description

Location: Wright ACT
Total Floor Area: 150m2
Year Completed: 2017
Architect: Light House Architecture & Science
EER: 8 stars

Client Brief

The clients wanted a new home for a family of four, with two home-office spaces, and capacity for guests, all within a modest budget and on a small block. They also wanted a home that would be an exemplar of sustainable design and construction in a new suburb that was dominated by project homes. The home was intended to showcase smaller, smarter design to create a highly liveable, light-filled and light-footed home; a home that feels and functions like (or better than most of the surrounding larger homes.

Sustainable Products & Features

  • Sanden heat pump (extremely efficient and low-energy water heating system)
  • LUNOS e2 heat recovery ventilation systems
  • LUNOS Silvento humidity sensing exhuast fans
  • BioPCM phase change material in the ceilings to retain and release heat from thermal mass during heating and cooling periods
  • Heat-On infrared heater panels
  • 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 internal and external walls and R6 ceiling insulation) to reduce heat transfer between inside and outside and between internal zones of the home.
  • 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.
  • Impressive air tightness of just 3.6 airchanges per hour at 50Pa – 5 to 8 times better than most Canberra homes; achieved using standard construction methods ie. no special air barriers, just attention to detail and by minimising ceiling penetrations
  • 15+ data loggers throughout the home and regular surface temperature measurements with a thermal camera.

Overall an excellent and well thought through design, Coupled with the latest technology in sustainable and efficient living make this home a standout. This home requires well under half the energy of typical new 6 star Canberra family home which makes it hard to dispute its sustainability credentials. We loved the challenge and we are very proud of the final product, which has been reassured with a number of awards including:

2018 HIA Australian GreenSmart Sustainable Home. – Winner

2017 Master Builders Association ACT, Custom Built Home Less Than 150m2 –Winner

2017 HIA/Southern NSW, Greensmart Energy Efficiency Home of the Year – Winner


Photos by Ben Wrigley Photography