Abbotsford Project - VALIANT STREET Eco House


The Valiant Street Eco House has been designed to client requirements of a sustainable home which will use recycled materials where possible to create a low impact home on the site. The end result is not just a 7.5 + Star home but a home that has re-used a lot of the materials from the original home on the site & also other reclaimed materials from second hand shops sourced locally to the project.

The northern/eastern orientation maximises the solar access to the home and allows for cross flow ventilation by capturing natural breezes and circulating them through the home by use of ceiling fans. Internal concrete mass stone clad walls soak in winter thermal heat & distribute it throughout the home of an evening.

With a combined use of gas boosted hot water from the solar hot water system which isintegrated into the hydronic heating system allows for thermally efficient heating. Rainwater is harvested on site for re-use in toilets & gardens as well as a grey water treatment system which collects waste water from the home & recycles it throughout the home. Woollen insulation batts will be used throughout the home & recycled bricks are to be used on the brick veneer portions of the home along with recycled weatherboards for the first floor horizontal cladding.

The Abbotsford Eco House has recently been completed with the clients moving in & adjusting to life in a sustainable home. Last time i saw the project it was nearing completion with a lot of work still to be finalised. The finished product is one that i am extremely proud of & i am honoured to have had the opportunity to design this project.

With the polished concrete floors & ply cabinetry throughout the lower floor mixed in with the honed block work splash-back in the kitchen & the vast & impressive use of corian tops to the benches the home has come together wonderfully. The internal courtyard has been fitted out with two large vegetable patches & a nice paved area overlooking them. The courtyard will look magnificent when the vegetables start to grow & the clients are looking forward to reduced electricity bills with the installation of a 5kw photovoltaic system.

There are three areas of this home that i feel have come together wonderfully, these are the Kitchen & how it works with the courtyard area, The feature staircase with its side steel stringers & recycled timber treads which have been fitted together with care & love & the sunken lounge to the right of the entry really gives the home a cosy & comfortable feel with the open gas fireplace & raised highlight windows.

The owners have carefully fitted the home out with a good eclectic mis of retro furniture which is sympathetic to the architectural style & some of the pieces were actually salvaged from nature strips prior to hard rubbish collections & refitted & repaired. These pieces close the circuit on the eco friendly & recycled nature the home emits.

Sustainable Components :

  • Orientation for passive solar gain for natural heating in winter.
  • Two-storey stair void acts as a thermal chimney, naturally removing heat in summer through stack effect and large expanses of louver windows on first floor allowing heat to escape
  • Thermal mass provided by exposed recycled concrete floor to ground floor of home
  • Solar hot water
  • Hydronic heating system in the insulated ground floor concrete slab
  • Compact Flouro down light system installed to reduce electricity use throughout home
  • Rainwater harvested and stored in tanks.
  • Water treated and used in grey water treatment system within the home.
  • High-performance woollen thermal insulation.
  • All louvers coated with Low E Thermal glazing
  • Al fixed windows & Sliding doors Double Glazed
  • Passive heating through north oriented windows and courtyard Shading from fixed eaves above