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Green Smart Magazine : GreenSmart 2010
32 greensmart 2010 In order to be self-sufficient, careful thinking and planning was required. To gain maximum benefit from the sun, plus shading to reduce thermal exposure during summer, the house is orientated north. Ceiling fans and cross-ventilation provide for summer comfort and two slow combustion wood fires are great during winter. For electricity, a 3kW tracking solar stand-alone power system and a generator for back up are installed, plus hot water is from a gas-boosted, 40-tube solar water heater. For lighting, fluorescent downlights have been fitted throughout the home, while light and motion sensors help reduce power use in high traffic areas. every little bit helps specifically chosen because they only require rainwater. Mulch protects them in the dryer seasons. They are also best suited to the soil type and any further plantings will be of a similar species. Of course, water conser vation drove the sustainable project from start to finish. For their own water use, the Hawkins use rainwater stored in three x 25,000-litre and two x 4500-litre poly tanks. As one of the tanks is on a hill near the house, a solar pump was installed to transfer the water from the catchments to this tank and it is then gravity- fed back for use throughout the house. Another way the house reduces water is through the Biolytix wastewater treatment system. Basically an 'ecosystem in a tank', the product uses worms and other organisms to treat all household sewage and wastewater. Its complex process breaks down solid waste and filters the remaining wastewater for subsurface irrigation to the Hawkins' lawn. It's silent, odourless and continually replenishes itself, thus requiring very little maintenance. 'The home's water supply is completely self-sufficient, with all wastewater treated and returned safely to the environment,' Scott explains. Inside the house a number of water-saving features apply. In the bathrooms, one five-star WELS rated Smartflush and two four-star WELS rated Caroma toilets are used. For showers, all showerheads are three-star WELS rated and all basin mixers are four- star WELS rated. In the kitchen and laundry, both the dishwasher and washing machine use low amounts of water too. BELOW: The garden features mainly drought-tolerant native plants which also best suit the soil. 'HAVING A STAND-ALONE EFFICIENT HOUSE IS ALL ABOUT MINIMISING OUR FOOTPRINT, AND IT'S GREAT TO BE ABLE TO SHOW OFF THE SAVINGS' DECK DECK FAMILY MEALS KITCHEN BATH WC ENS LAUNDRY RUMPUS BED 3 BED 4 BED 1 BED 2 OFFICE WIR GARAGE ENTRY VERANDAH VERANDAH ENS VERANDAH STORE GAMES BAR GUEST © Architect: Scott Hawkins GROUND FLOOR FIRST FLOOR smarthomes