Eco Building Services

Treading Lightly


This beautiful home, designed by award-winning architects Borgelt & Craig and precision-built by Eco Building Services, takes full advantage of its environment, yet does so very discreetly.

A home with a substantial footprint, it sits respectfully between its neighbours and treads lightly on the Earth. This is a home that ticks all the sustainability and eco friendly boxes. It is low-maintenance, easy to run and comfortable regardless of the season, thanks to the use of passive design principles, the responsible selection of materials, and the use of water and energy-efficient strategies. 

To begin with, the home is orientated for maximum natural light and ventilation, which included positioning the pool along the northern length to bring evaporative breezes into the house. Thermal mass solutions were used on both levels of the home and dry-stone was created between the home and retaining walls to prevent any water ingress issues in the case of waterproofing failure. This also creates a natural temperature buffer for the lower level.

The roof overhang shields the rear deck in summer but also naturally allows that slab to absorb sun and heat in winter to naturally warm the house. In addition, the roofline and suspended slab deck were designed to ensure shading to large openings during summer.

Harvesting rainwater on-site for household and irrigation was a priority, so five rainwater tanks were installed and to ensure the efficient use of water, all bathrooms feature water-saving fittings. To reduce reliance on mains power, there is a solar panel system and a solar hot water system. Additionally, LED low-energy lighting is used throughout the home along with energy-saving DC fans.

For low maintenance and longevity, Eco Building Services used materials that were simple, solid, durable and low VOC. Take the polished concrete as an example; it is long-lasting and kind on allergy sufferers. 

Reuse was another guiding principle. The initial home was selectively demolished, with all of the metal (some six tonnes) being recycled. As to the hardwood, it was reused for the internal stairs (including treads and handrails) as well as the external screens to the upper and lower levels. Joinery was also reused from the old home, as was the kitchen sink. Trees cultivated from the site were milled and used to create shelving.

The clients wanted a fairly industrial look to the home yet didn’t want it to dominate the streetscape. The result is a unique two-storey, split-level home that takes advantage of the site’s massive slope to ensure only the upper level can be seen from the front. The upper level is a lightweight mixture of Colorbond and zinc cladding to help blend in with the neighbours’ post-and-bearer-style homes.

The result is a rigorously designed, highly sustainable, multigenerational home with a long lifecycle.

For more information visit Eco Building Services.