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​After designing, admiring and seeing the benefits of passive solar designed homes, we decided we needed to build and live in one ourselves...
Front of house
North facing windows
Front of house
Thermal mass
Front of house
Sliding deck roof
Kitchen & living


  • Passive solar design

  • North facing

  • Well insulated framed home

  • Thermal mass internally

  • Cross flow ventilation

  • Passive shading to North facing windows

  • Sliding deck roof

  • In ground gutter system water collection

The outcome

Our home – a simple, no-frills approach to passive solar design, relying on core principles to achieve an 8.1 energy star rating in the Hills climate zone (8.9 stars in Perth zone). While the options are endless when building a “sustainable home,” our priorities were; efficient/passive heating and cooling, water catchment (100% rain water dependent), and connection with the outdoors. Our design makes use of our block’s North facing aspect, maximising Winter sunlight and Summer cross-ventilation. A polished concrete floor and full-height brick fire-place provide ample thermal mass to regulate temperature throughout the year. Our timber-framed walls are packed full of insulation and then lined externally with a fibre cement sheeting, followed by additional insulation and finishing cladding.

A low, skillion pitched roof maximises passive shading, with computer modelling assisting in determining window placement to maximise the shading benefits.

We have installed different glazing throughout the house to suit the room, aspect and our budget. 90% of the external doors and windows are timber joinery that was either old stock or discarded frames which benefited both the supplier and us.

With the help of a friend, we designed our own unique gutter system constructed in the concrete paving which then is directed into storage tanks before making its way to the main tank.

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