Boonah, Queensland, Australia
The brief was to design a 'living building' to be more than just a house built from sustainable materials. The house cooperates with nature. Nature supplies the electrical energy, the hot water heating energy and thermal space heating and the drinking water. Sewage/grey water from the bathroom is treated and returned to the ground as irrigation. An atria runs through the spine to expel stale air and also provides day lighting and sun penetration in winter.
Design and Construction
The night retreat rooms are built on a concrete slab (good thermal mass) surrounded by thermal mass walls of rammed earth which also provides good sound proofing from the rest of the house. The verandah-like living room spaces are built from lightweight materials which heat up and cool down quickly, assisted by the thermal mass rammed earth wall in the centre of the house.
Materials used were 'Solid Grass' bamboo floors and Modwood (recycled timber decking) as these are both termite proof. Rough finish 'Eco-ply' wood was used for the verandah room, insulated and painted with Porters natural 'Wood Wash'. Termite proofing is achieved with 'Termimesh', a non-chemical stainless steel barrier.
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