It’s been over a year now since the 'back of our house fell off’ as we prepared for a major adventure in home renovations to recreate the back part of our 1950’s house. After all these months of seemingly endless hard work, things have finally wrapped up and we’re really enjoying our redesigned space!
The main sustainable features of our renovation include:
Solar passive design: Being mindful of using the sun to our advantage for heating and cooling, we’ve placed lots of windows with louvers on the north, and very few windows on the east and west side. We have large eves, and the windows feature a ‘low-e’ glazing, which means they have better insulation properties than standard windows.
Reverse block veneer construction: Using core-filled concrete blocks gives the building a great ‘thermal mass’ that combined with solar passive design, helps keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter. This is helped even more by the ‘reverse construction’ technique. The blocks are exposed on the inside of the building to soak up the winter sun, and insulated on the outside from the cold nights or hot summer sun. It’s usually the other way around with most building walls around here, where you see bricks on the outside and have insulation on the inside.
Reuse and recycle: We've reused decking from the original back room for battening off the cladding in the new build, and the old kitchen cupboards have been re-used in the storeroom.
Using local, sustainably harvested timber, FSC certified timber and cork flooring.
Using natural sealers and bio paints.
Greywater reuse: water from the washing machine and shower can be diverted to the garden.
A feature of our kitchen we just love is our built-in compost bucket under the sink!
We’re so grateful to our amazing architect Morgen Figgis from Barnacle Studio, Min Figgis for her artistic inspiration, our builder Matt Tyler from MRT Constructions, Tony Misfud from Coastwide Joinery and the many other tradies who were all key to making this build happen. We’re also so very thankful to our wonderful family and friends who chipped in many a hard working day and suggested great ideas that have helped create this beautiful new space.
Now we’re through on our adventure in renovating, we’re looking forward to spending more time gardening and blogging – so look out for more posts soon! If you’d like to hear more about any of the sustainability aspects of our renovation, let us know and we could potentially do another post just about that.