The TT Architecture ActewAGL energy efficiency display house illustrates many of the finer points involved in reducing emissions and staying more comfortable all through the year. The house combines both active and passive heating and cooling strategies. While not all the features and systems built into this house would always be appropriate to use in any single design, many of the separate elements have potential applications for most residential buildings – even existing dwellings which are being refurbished.

-> Thermal storage method: while staying with the preferred brick veneer construction format, thermal storage (inertia) will be achieved by use of a stand alone hydronic slab-heating system with solar thermal collector plates and a centralized, highly-insulated water storage tank. In order for the slab-heating to be most effective, a pre-finished concrete floor has been used. A passive storage system has also been incorporated which relies on dry-laid concrete blocks packed neatly between the studwork of internal partition walls.

-> Ventilation: the double-storey height of this design makes night-flush ventilation an easily achieved method for passive cooling of the house. The staircase can be sealed off from the living space by a glass louver screen during winter, limiting the heat loss to a minimum; in summer, the louvers can be opened to allow warm air to rise up to the second level and be exhausted out through upper level windows.

-> Appliance Electrical Supply: a small grid-feedback photovoltaic system has been fitted to the house to help reduce the overall electrical demand. The capacity of the system is approx. 1.2kw which provides a useful level of supplementary power.

-> Grey water recycling: an on-site filtration, storage and subsoil delivery system by Pryme Wastewater is used. This system makes use of biological purification and filtration methods to neutralize pathogens and stabilize salt content of the water.

project credits
Design Architect: Tony Trobe & Peter Overton
Project Architect: Peter Overton
Structural Consultant: Rogers & Jefferis
Photographer: studio2point8

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