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CURRUMBIN (Innovation House 3)

Projects> Currumbin (Innovation House 3)

The ecovillage logo

Landmatters Currumbin Valley Pty Ltd logo            Gold Coast City Council logo


17 Village Way, The Ecovillage at Currumbin, Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Valley

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Project summary

Sustainable Home Currumbin (Innovation House 3 or IH3) is located in The Ecovillage at Currumbin developed by Landmatters and named Australia's Best Sustainable Development by the Urban Development Institute of Australia. The vision for this community is to inspire sustainable living and inform ecological sustainable development.

Badged in the Gold Coast City Council's Innovation House programme (IH3), the house was constructed by HIA Greensmart Award winning builder Jaymac Constructions and designed by Rob King.

Sustainable Home Currumbin (IH3) displayed the 'triple bottom line' approach to housing design and construction, as it addressed the three essential smart housing elements of social, economic and environmental sustainability. By applying sustainable design principles, the home demonstrated how we can work towards the creation of more sustainable communities, such as that envisaged for the Ecovillage at Currumbin.

With a focus on sustainability from the conceptual stages to the completion of construction, Sustainable Home Currumbin displayed many features from the most simple to technical.

The philosophy for the project is to:

Key facts

Project manager
Jaymac Constructions
Landmatters Currumbin Valley Pty Ltd

Consultant partners
Gold Coast City Council
Rob King
Rob Kin Design 

Commenced: August 2005
Completed: late November 2005

Lot size
Land: 759m2

House size
Internal living space = 140.06m2
Garage = 52.47m2
External living (decks) = 69.01 m2
Total floor area = 261.542

Land cost
Approximately $250K

Construction cost
Approximately $1500/sqm - or $390K


Design features

As a fundamental sustainability principle, the house site orients towards a north-east aspect offering unlimited climactic opportunities.  Good subtropical design utilises the orientation providing comfortable living conditions that require virtually no supplementary heating or cooling. This keeps utility costs down and is good for the environment.  Sustainable Home Currumbin is not air conditioned.

The home is set 0.8m off the ground and building skirts link the earth’s temperature to that of the interior of the home.  Angled roof awnings allow winter solar penetration to a suspended partial floor slab providing thermal mass absorption of heat for later radiation. The slab, showing true innovation is also fitted with a hydronic heating system powered by a solar panel.

Ample and correctly positioned fenestration ensures prevailing breezes are captured and enjoyed. Cross ventilation throughout the whole home is achieved by inclusion of louvres above doors and open spaces.

A vaulted ceiling in the living area includes louvred windows to ventilate hot air and provide natural lighting. A ceiling fan, reversed in winter keeps warm air from rising to this area.

Insulation has been installed in both walls and ceilings to provide sound and temperature benefits. To the underside of the floor joists a thermal blanket has been fixed to insulate the floor system.

Two solar powered fans above the separate bedroom wings have been installed to extract hot air from the roof cavity while drawing cool air in via the strategically placed eave vents. On top of the high roof area, a solar powered heating and cooling device has been mounted to the north-western face which allows for ducted warm air to be dispersed at floor level throughout the winter months. In the hotter months, the fan is reversed to extract hot air from the high internal ceiling area.

Recycled materials in the form of granite kitchen and laundry benchtops, brushbox timber living room floor, hoop pine bathroom(s) benches, hardwood structural posts, timber decking, garage cupboard doors etc showcase the re-using of materials destined for landfill.

Sustainable Home Currumbin, as with all homes in The Ecovillage, is completely water self-sufficient. Roof catchment and tank storage on site cater for potable water supply. All grey and black water is sent to The Ecovillage Waste Water Treatment Plant, treated to Class A+ standard and reticulated back to the home for use on gardens, toilet flushing (low water use, dual flush) and in the laundry. The gas-boosted solar hot water system has a connection to a hot water saver which can potentially save up to 16000lt of water per annum.

All tapware is the latest triple AAA rated water saving taps mixers and shower heads.

A 1.2kW photovoltaic system has been installed to the house with main grid connection for back up supply.

All light fittings and appliances are genuinely energy efficient creating greater awareness for consumption of energy and strategically placed to create a "night sky" policy so as not to impact on the surrounding neighbours and the rural amenity of the estate. Gas appliances are mandated within The Ecovillage and Sustainable Home Currumbin utilises gas oven, cooktop and gas boosted solar hot water system.

The house is fitted with 'Ecovision' resource system which monitors consumption and supply of gas, energy and water.

A strict Waste Management Construction Plan was created. No large builders waste bins were used on site. Instead, all plastics, glass and other recyclables were sorted and disposed of in the appropriate manner. All metals were placed in an onsite bin especially for recycling purposes.

Sustainable Home Currumbin, including the ensuite bathroom is designed to be accessible for all life's circumstances. The House has been deliberately kept small in an encouragement of efficiency of space.

Last updated April 2009

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Sustainable home Currumbin ih3 image

Sustainable home Currumbin ih3 image

Sustainable home Currumbin ih3 image

Sustainable home Currumbin ih3 image

Environment Minister Hon Desley Boyle

Sustainable home Currumbin ih3 image

Mayor Cr Ron Clarke MBE

Sustainable home Currumbin ih3 image

Chris Walton, Landmatters

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Department of Public Works
Illuminating Engineering Society
Australian Green Development Forum
Bendigo Bank
Housing Industry Association
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Urban Development Institute of Australia        Australian Institute of Architects
Planning Institute of Australia
Queensland Master Builders Association
Queensland Government