Earlier last month, the annual event Sustainable House day was held where Australia wide, over 200 environmentally friendly homes opened their doors to the public. Dalecki Design had the privilege of being involved in the day, being able to offer insights into the design principles and features behind the ‘Beaconsfield Beach House’, one of the many homes being showcased. The strong numbers and positive response to both Sustainable House Day and the ‘Beach House’ was hugely encouraging, showing that the demand for sustainable, smarter, passive solar houses in Australia is on the rise.

Located on a compact nine and a half metre wide, 250 square metre parcel of land sits this smart and compact, yet spacious house. The home was custom designed to suit the client’s individual needs, whilst still offering the flexibility for household growth and changing needs. Designed initially as a two bedroom two bathroom, the home also offers the flexibility of the second floor sitting area being easily converted into a third bedroom.

The parcel of land is ideal to house a passive solar design. The elongated side of the property faces due north and there is no overshadowing from adjoining properties, thanks to its street corner location. This elongated northern face gives the ability to design the home so every room has exposure to the warming winter sun, providing natural heating. This heat from the sun is stored in the thermal mass of both the well-insulated suspended second floor and ground floor slabs. This stored heat then radiates out when the internal air temperature drops, maintaining a stable and comfortable internal air temperature without any auxiliary heating.

Preventing heat gain in summer is dealt with through smart external shading including roof eave line shading, individual window awnings and a large outdoor patio to support deciduous vines, which provides summer shading, yet still allows winter sun to enter the house. This combined with well-insulated R10 ground floor walls, R8 upper floor walls, R6 ceiling insulation and double glazing ensures summer heat gain is totally minimised. The thermal mass floor slabs that naturally heat the house in winter work in reverse during the summer months, providing a cooler internal air temperature. In summer, nighttime ventilation removes heat that has been built up during day, which serves to cool the structure for the next day.

Windows are well positioned on the south west side of the house to capture cooling breezes, which then flow through and exit through carefully positioned windows on the opposite side of the house. Each habitable space of the house has windows positioned to ensure direct cross flow ventilation can take place with minimal obstructions (this essentially means well positioned windows on both sides of the room).

To talk about this project in further detail, or to find out how we can help you design your own passive solar home, feel free to contact us at Dalecki Design.



Janik Dalecki