Monday, November 8, 2010

Best eco swimming pool in the world

The modest swimming pool at the ecohouse has just won gold in the international swimming pool awards in Las Vegas for pool builder and designer, Stuart Bevan, of Stuart Bevan Pools Pty Ltd. He was awarded the top prize for Residential Pools - Green Applications from GAVA (Global Arkitecture Visionary Awards).
The plunge pool is minimal in size due to site constraints (riparian zone at river bank and narrow block) and environmental considerations. It uses an efficient pump/filter system. With galvanised reinforcing and a thicker than normal concrete shell using recycled additives of fly ash and reactive magnesium, the pool is built for durability. It is finished internally with a pebble coating of local stone (minimal transport costs) which is long-lasting and easy to clean. At night, the pool is lit with locally-made LED lights.

The 15,000L (approx) pool is filled and topped up with rainwater and a flexible and moveable outlet hose allows flexible distribution of waste water over the garden area.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Home sweet home

The new residents are settling into the house, adjusting to the change from a grand old Queensland to a sleek new home, and finding places for their belongings. Some technology glitches are being ironed out but the garden has been well watered with all the recent rain, the tanks are full and the owners are enjoying their new space.

The front garden's strawberries which fruited at completion of construction are fruiting again, much to the delight of the local bush turkeys and the owners' son.
The water tank beneath the courtyard is full and ready to be used on the garden and pool when the weather dries up.Mint and native violets are filling up between the pavers outside the Laundry and Kitchen.The pool is enjoyed for a dip after kayaking on the river.

Monday, October 18, 2010

BPN Sustainability Awards

Emma Scragg was fortunate to be able to attend the BPN Sustainability Awards and received the award for "Single Dwelling - New" on behalf of Riddel Architecture. This is really an award for all those responsible for achieving such a thoroughly sustainable building - the dedicated building team, Robert Peagram Builders, our unwavering clients, the Riddel Architecture team (most staff helped out at some point over the 5 years) and all the consultants and suppliers that helped complete the picture.

Thank you to everyone involved.Emma receiving award from sponsor Daniel Strebel from Geberit

Friday, October 8, 2010

Publication update

The Ecohouse has been published yet again – this time in Ukraine and India. The count is up to 43 publications (plus the TV segment) and 19 countries!! We’ve pinpointed on the world map all the countries who have featured the house. Hopefully this is a sign of design for greener homes globally.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A state award for the building team!

Last Friday (1st October), Robert Peagram Builders were awarded the Sustainable Living Award at the Master Builders' State Housing and Construction Awards. This was following winning the Brisbane award for the same category. "Can you see my cumerbund?" was the question that caused the laughter below - L-R Emma Scragg (Project Architect), Alison Orr (Project Manager), Rob Peagram, Miki Hall (Project Manager)
The house is a finalist in the BPN Sustainability Awards and the Banksia Awards, to be announced in Sydney next week.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Taps and another prize

Here is a nice shot illustrating the water systems of the ecohouse - lots of choice depending on availability.Photo - Gilbert Louttit

A prize!
The house has just been awarded the Intergrain Timber Vision Award for the Residential Interior Category 2010.

Monday, July 19, 2010

5 minutes of fame on TV

The house was featured last week on Better Homes and Gardens, on Channel 7 in Australia. See if you can have a look, if you missed it - Better Homes and Garden. 16th July, Series 16, Episode 24

Monday, July 12, 2010

Master Builders' - Sustainable Living Award !

On Friday night, Rob Peagram Builders (and the ecohouse) was awarded the 2010 Queensland Master Builders' Housing & Construction - Sustainable Living Award.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

House on TV!

The house will be featured on Channel 7 at 7:30pm next Friday night 16th July. Here are some photos of the house as set up for the shoot (photos and decorating by our talented work experience interior designer, Philip Budgen) with furniture from Stylecraft, Robert Riddel's and Alice Hampson's personal collections with cushions by Mokum.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Garden growing

The garden is growing and fruiting. Some turkeys seem to be making themselves at home, shifting mulch onto the lower lawn and helping themselves to the juicy strawberries at the front.

I visited to check on the garden in preparation for a Better Homes and Gardens filming next week.

I just checked the number of visits to this blog - almost 20,000. I hope there are other ecohouses germinating out there.

Monday, May 10, 2010

For sale

The house is on the market and being auctioned next weekend. This was always the intention of our clients but we always hoped they'd end up living here.

Here is the agent's blurb.


The architect Riddell Architecture, the clients and Robert Peagram Builders worked together to achieve the greenest home possible with a 6 star energy rating. From the dismantling of the original residence to the final landscaping touches, this vision has been realized with few compromises.

The building form responds to its unique site, drawing on elements of the Queensland home in a contemporary way. Large overhangs, window hoods, outdoor living spaces, blinds, lightweight building materials and generous ceiling heights, set within a lush landscape reflect this.

The rooms that populate the home are wonderfully scaled and the use of natural materials contributes a sense of warmth. With approximately 80% of the original home reused in the construction, quirky elements such as the original number at the front door, integrated lead lighting and recycled timber feature walls bring character.

Soaring ceiling spaces, light filled interiors, polished concrete and reclaimed timber flooring plus extensive windows capturing the pristine river views are some of the superb features.

The home sited on a long 683m2 block, has been constructed over three levels following and utilizing the natural contours of the site. The lower floor with a bedroom, media room and powder room, opens directly to a large covered deck with plunge pool, the lush back gardens, river and St Lucia.

The main level’s study and laundry are separated by a long wide gallery, perfect for housing the art collection, from the living zones including dining, meals, family room and a supremely functional and stylish kitchen. Two further bedrooms are positioned at the front of the home, elevated from the street to capture the cooling breezes.

These areas focus on the outdoors, either onto the very private central courtyard or through large expanses of glass to the river terrace and decks with unlined glass balustrade to maximize the river views.

The master suite, enjoying wonderful separation is sited on the upper level with a custom fitted walk in robe, ensuite and its own private riverfront balcony.

With conservation at its heart, the home features energy efficient lighting, solar power, 71000l of rainwater storage, grey water recycling system plumbed to irrigation and toilet and where possible all materials have been sourced from local manufacturers.

From the moment you step across the front pathways dotted with strawberry plants, cumquats and herbs its obvious this is somewhere special. This is a home to be proud of with a unique design and construction story, paving the way to a more sustainable future yet at no time compromising quality, function or beauty.

West End is a mecca for diverse eateries, great shopping bargains at wholesale outlets, farmers markets and a profusion of theatres, art galleries and museums. With the city centre just 3kms away, parklands and the close proximity of the City Cat, this home is ideally positioned to enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle and throw away the car keys.

Solar power

According to our solar power installer, Mark Wright of Stand Alone Power Supplies, the house has now been generating an average of 13.5kWh/day. September, October and November are the best months for the 20 degree roof pitch so the panels will generate more power and increase the daily average.

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 2010

Some more photos taken on a recent visit of the house. The rain has filled the tanks, the garden is flourishing and the house is ready for residents. The front entry has been marked by the original painted metal number plate.
Entry with polished concrete floor, ironbark battens, hoop pine doors, soffit lining of original house's floor boards. Outer door has a large crimsafe panel for secure natural ventilation.Pull handle to front door using reycled hardwood
Plant room - the least glamorous of all the spaces but the most active and interesting - grey water treatment (including worms), filtration, pumping and reticulation of rainwater, grey water and town water, monitoring of energy use, invertor for solar power...and a wine cellar beyond.Leadlight window of old louvre blades from the original house in the entry space, created by Annerley Glassworks

1 watt LED light in recycled hardwood base within entry stair wall (recycled hardwood framing and recycled hoop pine facing)
Bedroom with louvres through to Gallery to catch cross-breezes from river.

DINING ROOM - shelving made from the original hoop pine floor boards, hoop pine doors, original, unpainted vjs.View from main stair to Gallery (northward)Kitchen through stair screen of original house's pine rafters
Lower stairway
Lower bathroom, tucked under stair. Polished concrete slab floor, simple white wall tiles and water-efficient fittings.
The rosella bush is already fruiting and other plants are taking off after the heavy rains.