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CURRUMBIN (Living Laboratory)

Projects> Currumbin (Living Laboratory)

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21 Village Way, The Ecovillage at Currumbin, Currumbin Valley

Display period

Official opening: 10 December 2007
Inspection days: by appointment

Key facts


1 + powder (wheelchair friendly)

Climate zone

Will Collins Design

Paul Tidmarsh & Owner / Builder Chris Walton

Project Manager
Chris Walton

Local council
Gold Coast City Council

Major sponsors
BP Solar
Bluescope Water (tanks

Commenced: March 2007
Completed: November 2007

Lot size
Land: 751m2

House size
Living Space:117.5m2
Total Floor Area (GFA):  184.0m2
Covered Outdoor Area:  66.5m2

Sustainable design features

Construction type
Lightweight construction incorporating ecoply, fibre cement sheeting, timber framework etc. External and internal rock walls feature and approximately 70% of construction is out of recycled materials including doors & windows, timber joists & framework, timber flooring & decking, entire kitchen (including granite benchtops), bath & double marble vanity, electrical fittings & fixtures, plumbing fixtures & fittings, poles, carport, landscaping materials etc

Ritek roofing has been used for insulation purposes.

The Living Laboratory home is completely water self sufficient and runs on a 1.5kW BP Solar power system connected to the mains grid for back up supply.

Internal environment
Achieves universal accessibility to entry, living areas, bedroom 1, bathroom and kitchen. Hallways are also wider for wheelchair accessibility. The kitchen is fully recycled and offers granite benchtops, reworked cupboards, and recycled stainless steel splashbacks.

French doors and windows in the kitchen / dining area are locally fabricated from recycled timbers.

Thermal mass is achieved by a series of 4 concrete Humes tanks submerged 800mm into the ground and topped with a polished concrete slab. The surface covers the water storage which goes completely unnoticed visually and yet assists with the termperature control in the room.

An internal rock wall also provides thermal mass with solar penetration achieved through clerestory windows for winter and cooling rock temperatures through summer.

External environment
Rainwater tank(s) size:  22500 litres + 4 x 2160litre Humes concrete water tanks (8640litres) embedded in ground and used as thermal mass / water storage
Rainwater application:  potable water supply utilised for drinking, cooking, washing up, bathing / showering. All other water (eg: toilet flushing, gardens / lawn, clothes washing, car washing supplied by Ecovillage Water Reclamation Plant recycled water
Hot Water System:   Conenergy solar hot water system with gas booster

Related links

Last updated October 2008


Chris Walton & Kerry Shepherd won the HIA 2008GreenSmart 'Building of the Year' Award. Award presented by Mark Eckermann, Manager, Bluescope Steel National Business Development


Sustainable Homes Currumbin (Living Laboratory) image

Hon Robert Schwarten, Minister for Public Works, Housing and Information and Communication Technology

Sustainable Homes Currumbin (Living Laboratory) image

From Left to Right: Michael Ball, Ros Rees, Kerry Sheppard, Mike Roberts and Isabella Manetti

Sustainable Homes Currumbin (Living Laboratory) image

Sustainable Homes Currumbin (Living Laboratory) image

Sustainable Homes Currumbin (Living Laboratory) image

Sustainable Homes Currumbin (Living Laboratory) image

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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