Mount Evelyn house

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Name The Gillam House
Location Mount Evelyn, Victoria
Country Australia
Type Sustainable renovation


Summary of house features

  • Passive solar design
  • Insulation: Very high levels of insulation in the walls and ceiling.
  • Thermal Storage: High level of thermal mass (concrete and brickwork)
  • Natural Ventilation Paths: Good natural ventilation through roof windows.
  • External walls: Double brick downstairs, reversed brick veneer upstairs.
  • Zoning: The living areas are zoned to the front (sunny) side and the wet areas and sleeping areas are located along the southern section.
  • Glazing/windows: Clerestorey roof windows facing north for maximum solar gain to the rear sections of the house.


The house is a two-storey, double brick passive solar home. The climate is cool temperature and the region experiences relatively wide fluctuations in temperature and humidity over the four seasons.

Temperature can range between 5 and 45 Degrees Celsius but the house is so efficient in its design that the inside of the home never goes below 12 or above 26 degrees. The house's designer and owner, Colin says that the house's orientation is very good. The house faces north to gain maximum solar access.

Contents

Special features

The garden is surviving through this period of tough drought conditions by using water from a large rainwater tank under the house. With a mass of 10 tonnes of water, the tank is also a great buffer against temperature variations.

Energy Rating/consumption data

The occupants are in the process of collecting actual consumption data but it has been noticed that the downstairs office never goes below 16 Degrees Celsius in winter or above 22 Degrees Celsius in summer with no additional heating or cooling.

During a 43 degree-day in summer, the neighbours (a builder and his family) had their ducted air-conditioning running all day and couldn't keep the temperature any lower than 31 degrees. Colin said he “felt smug sitting in his cool house, thinking about his design achievements and secure in the knowledge of a job well done.”

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