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BDAV 2015 Building Design Awards


Winner10-Star Sustainable Design Challenge

Designer: Maxa Design Pty Ltd and Graham Energy Builder: Rick Egan
Photographer: Maxa Design Pty Ltd Web:

Encompassing more than just a 10 star house, the designers have envisioned a home sympathetic to the characteristics of the site: its slope, vegetation and a creek, plus a healthy home for the occupants and one completely self-sufficient for water, power and waste. The brief provided the basic details of the site to all entrants, but Maxa Design turned that into a real world challenging site located north of Brisbane's CBD. The result is a light-filled and airy pavilion styled home, sitting elevated on the site. Timber claddings complement the natural landscape, and glazing considers both orientation, perceived views and the need for good ventilation. The street appeal is not lacking and, despite the sloping site, provides convenient access to vehicles and mobility-constrained pedestrians. Despite its conservative footprint of 183 square metres, the three-bedroom house is space-efficient without compromising on function. A large living space and good sized bedrooms all opening to verandahs cater for everyday living, and a passage joining everything together runs along the south side. The design employs passive solar principles, with consideration of orientation, shading and zoning. Thermal massing and the clever use of openable glazing brings light in, and allows for natural ventilation for passive cooling when the Queensland climate warms up. In addition to the 10 stars energy rating, the designers delivered a home self-sufficient in water, power and sewerage. Large rainwater tanks and grey-water treatment provide for the home's water requirements; 20 solar panels provide the power; and a composting toilet system for waste. Materials were selected for their sustainability, including consideration of where they were manufactured and transported.