A 'Sustainable House' is a house which is designed to increase the efficiency of resources while reducing the impacts on human and environmental health during the lifecycle of the building.
This is done through smarter building, better design of features, construction with a focus on utilising sustainable, natural, locally available materials, as well as self-sufficient energy and plumbing systems.
The sustainable features of the Hazell house were built into an existing house that the couple bought in 2001in North Manly. The building design company Envirotecture Projects, headed by Dick Clark, designed the eco-friendly house. Dick Clark explains “It is no more expensive designing an environmentally friendly house if you get the fundamental things like orientation correct, which ensures that everything falls into place. In fact, energy-efficient designs should be ultimately less expensive than conventional models.” The house features excellent cross-ventilation and passive solar elements such as a concrete floor structure and internal brick walls that retain the heat in the winter and keep the inside cool in the summer.
A Passive House in an Active Environment
As land becomes scarcer in our major and regional cities, lots with ideal solar access will become the exception rather than the norm. We must be able to design passive solarbuildings on these lots, to ensure they are naturally comfortable and have minimal negative environmental impacts. This project stands on a coastal site with less than ideal orientation, and which is flood affected - these characteristics combined to impose difficulties which required some unusual responses. But as time goes by, many of these design responses will become commonplace.