Tim Adams and Pip Watt live in an environmentally sustainable, energy efficient home that is warm in winter, cool in summer and there are no bills throughout the year.
Tim designed his 7-star energy house of about 7 hectares (about 17 acres) in Gerang near Geelong in the southeastern part of Australia in Victoria. The house is equipped with alternative energy systems, as well as various heating and cooling technologies that make the building carbon neutral and comfortable.
Tim is currently president of the Victorian Association of Building Designers, which also manages the sustainable home-based business, F2 Design, to produce highly efficient, energy-efficient homes. Tim is also an accredited appraiser of the organization’s thermal performance.
He became interested in energy efficiency and sustainable building design after the 1975 global oil shock.
Tim and Peep designed the house, which has its own power supply systems, household and sewage treatment plants.
The house has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and open living areas on the north side with glazed walls, making it possible to make the most of the natural light on the floor slab to use the available solar heat.
There is no ledge on the house of Tim and Pip.
Tim said that the use of cornices requires careful consideration, since deep fixed cornices can impede passive thermal effects if not used wisely.
The day I visited outside was about 13 degrees Celsius (about 55 degrees Fahrenheit), while inside the house it was steady 19.5 degrees Celsius, and the only necessary shoes were socks.
After Tim and Pip decided to install a solar power system, they carefully calculated their annual electricity consumption and got a daily average consumption of 9.25 kilowatt-hours.
They believe that a three-kilowatt photovoltaic solar system will capture enough sunlight to cope with their use and produce surplus for sale back to the grid.
The house has a solar power photovoltaic system, which consists of a three-kilowatt inverter with 18 solar cells with a capacity of 180 W each.
Tim said that when they installed their solar power systems, the state government included an alternative energy charge of 66 cents per kilowatt-hour, so he signed a 15-year contract for this rate with his power company.
“The first three-month electricity bill with an installed smart meter brought a loan of $ 205, although the average daily amount of sunshine last summer (2010) was 1.5 hours below average,” said Tim.
Adams has a regular set of household appliances, including a kettle, toaster, microwave, espresso machine, oven, induction hob, full-size dishwasher, refrigerator, front-loading washing machine and various entertainment equipment.
The wide V-shaped roof design is an important part of the solar energy system in the house.
The northernmost side of the two roof sections is angled to position the solar panels for maximum exposure to sunlight on daylight.
The idea behind the roof structure deserves further study, because inverted means that people are protected from serious injury, because any fall means slipping into a long box-shaped roof gutter, rather than to the ground 4 meters below.
Tim designed a single box gutter for the roof to be wide and deep enough to efficiently collect the rainwater needed for domestic use.
It’s also easier to clean than a regular gutter, since it’s wide (Tim calls it a lap pool), it’s easy to sweep up and quickly remove garbage.
Tim and Pipa have enough space on the roof of three buildings that serve as a drainage basin for rainwater tanks with a capacity of 120,000 liters (26,374 gallons).
Warm water for the floor heating system comes from 60 pumped solar pipes installed on the roof, as well as from an Italian combustion boiler with a highly efficient heat exchanger.
To ensure that the internal temperature can be controlled, the house faces north, and there is no insulation under the slabs.
Laying a concrete slab on the floor directly on the ground allows you to choose a colder slab on hot days.
To encourage further cooling in the warmer months, the house used the principles of cross-ventilation and used other devices, such as window temperature switches, ceiling fans, and water evaporation to keep cold air inwards.
The house is a 7-star building with an energy rating, since only the south side is equipped with double glazed windows.
There is insulation in the walls and ceiling using standard insulation bars of nominal R3.5 (in this case, the rating R means about 160 mm (6 inches thick).
and windows for paintings, in other cases sheathed plantation planks made of natural wood.
Yellow trusses of bark that covered the house were made using innovative radial sawing and sustainable growing methods for reducing the impact on the environment and waste. The most expensive costs they had to build were for a wormhole sewer system for wastewater treatment.
It cost AED 10,000 for installation, and the annual maintenance fee was $ 300, but they calculated that these expenses will be compensated against the savings they make by owning their own power supply and water supply systems.
Tim said that he had long wanted to build a house with a sustainable design to prove his design principles, but also now how economically it was to build such a house.
“I wanted to be able to build a new house and actually put my money to where I live,” Tim said.
“I did this (design) to use as an example.
“You can do such things (build a sustainable home) without spending a lot of money. "