Projects> Redlynch Valley (Cairns)
15 Davidson Close, Redlynch Valley (near Cairns)
Redlynch Valley Estate residential development was twelve years in the making. The aim of this extensive development was to be sustainable and sensitive to all aspects of the environment. This philosophy followed through all scales of the development from urban planning to architecture. The stated focus was on quality not quantity and aimed to be a positive role model for future developments throughout the region. The Estate has won awards for its design for the environment consideration.
Sustainable Home Redlynch Valley was opened to the public for 5 months demonstrating principles of sustainable housing allowing people to inspect and appreciate these special design features first-hand. It is located approximately 15 minutes drive northwest of Cairns.
The 4-bedroom home has been designed to 'blend' into the estate which is surrounded by 700 acres of rainforest and three kilometres of riverfront. The design was aesthetically pleasing showing the public that sustainable housing looks the same as usual housing, it just functions better.
The walls have been built using lightweight construction which is a little different from the usual block construction which is used in the area but has distinct benefits for the local climate.
This home in particular has been designed to meet changing family needs and a range of people's needs.
2nd - 3rd home buyer
Cairns Regional Council
Tropical - Climate Zone 1
Redlynch Valley Estate
Rodger Pearce / Robert Wallace
Matthew Carley, Indetail Design
Macpark Pty Ltd
- MACPARK Building Co.
- Indetail Design
- Solar Energy
- Redlynch Valley Estate
Commenced: 1 September 2007
Completed: 4 February 2008
Land: 778 m2
Living Space: 178.25 m2
Garage: 37.66 m2
Total Floor Area (GFA): 252m2
Covered Outdoor Area: 36m2
The house is a positive example of a sustainable dwelling. This demonstration home showed examples of technologies, on-site interaction and sustainable living within an affordable family home. Those who visited the home gained an understanding of design principles, features of environmental sustainability, water efficiency and an appreciation of how easily these could be incorporated into a home. This home displayed the triple-bottom line of Social, Economic and Environmental sustainability. The house has 4 bedrooms plus media room/5th bedroom or home office with a double garage with storage, open plan living areas on a site which is level with the street.
The house took inspiration from the ability to showcase a home that didn’t look out of place in a residential development but just worked a whole lot better.
The project aimed to:
Sustainable Design features
- Respond to changing the character of households and housing needs.
- Meet changing family needs and economic circumstance.
- Create an environment that was designed, planned and built with the vision to make a house socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.
- Respond to people's needs by incorporating 'Smart & Sustainable Housing' design principles that ensured a community house that is safe, secure and universally designed while being resource-efficient in water conservation, water harvesting, passive and breezeway design, waste reduction and energy savings.
- Be cost-effective over time; from the initial design and construction through to reducing the running and long-term maintenance costs.
- Increase public and community awareness of the importance and value of sustainable housing design.
- Encourage those within the housing industry to take up the challenge of achieving more appropriate housing design and building practices. The expectation was that this will provide an educational tool for the public, the media and educators including schools and universities.
- Suppliers were encouraged to setup for a given time period to workshop their products and services to educate and sell their products at the display home.
High humidity with a definite dry season. The climate is tropical with hot humid summers and mild winters with the majority of the rainfall in summer. Southerly breezes in the morning. Northerly sea breezes in the afternoon. These breezes are in direct relation to the valley in which a site is positioned. The mountains either side of this site direct the breezes up and down the valley.
Maximise external wall areas for cross ventilation. Site the house and rooms to maximize exposure to breezes. Shade the whole building where possible in summer. Shade the western walls and glass all year round. Use insulation. Use ventilation and ventilate roof spaces. Screen and shade the outdoor living spaces.
Sustainable Design Features
- The site is orientated to maximise the northerly and southerly breezes for cross-flow ventilation. All the living spaces maximise this orientation to create a comfortable and enjoyable living space
- The site is orientated to maximise the northerly and southerly breezes for cross-flow ventilation.
Building Design -
- Living spaces are all open plan. This surveillance and safety while increasing accessibility. The living space overlooks the patio and external yard for child surveillance. Passive design strategies means this space is a light, well-ventilated area that is comfortable to be in.
- Living spaces maximise orientation to create a comfortable an enjoyable living space.
- Accessibility has been provided through the house via level entry and exit points, bedroom sizing, hallway widths, kitchen space, and an accessible bathroom with step free showers and WC.
- The house has been designed for flexibility with the provision of multiple indoor living spaces. Sliding doors between the media room creates a "programmable" space that is able to cater for diverse occupant requirements. It also takes into account the possibilities of working from home; having family and friends stay; or having grandparents move in for a long period.
- The house demonstrates strong crime prevention through environmental principles, including providing living spaces overlooking the small street frontage and obvious entry where visitors can be assessed prior to admission. In addition target hardening measures have been employed in the specification of door hardware. Security screens are fitted to allow cross-flow ventilation whilst not increasing any safety threat from break-ins. Sensor lights have been used to deter crime.
- The house demonstrates the principle of design for safety with a number of features including: the provision of appropriate levels of storage space, a kitchen layout to minimise accidents and the ability to supervise children's play areas.
- The garage has been set back from the main entry in order to reduce its impact on the streetscape. There are 2 roof ventilation stacks to draw attention away from the garage. The entry porch is clearly defined and the 4th bedroom and/or 5th bedroom/home office overlooks this front yard space. This is an important control and security device and deterrent.
- The construction is a lightweight type with a sustainable harvested timber frame; clad in a mixture of durable weatherboards.
- Materials have been chosen to minimize the impact on health and natural sustainability.
- Roof trusses are sustainable plantation timber.
- A physical termite barrier was used in preference to chemical treatments.
- The roof is Colorbond steel with Air Cell technology for insulation as it has a high 'R' rating
- Sustainable timber decking has been used on the patio and entry.
- The house is designed to standard sizes of materials to prevent off cut waste. Prefabricated cabinet work is used to control waste in the factory setting.
- Appliances achieve the highest star energy-efficient rating.
- An Eco-fan, run by the flow of water, exhausts hot air from the showers using no power at all.
- Low energy lighting, such as compact fluorescent lights have used throughout the house to reduce energy consumption, maintenance and long-term costs.
- The electrical layout optimises lighting in order to reduce the number of lights on at once. Skylights for certain areas increase natural light and an exit point for hot air within the house.
- Active heating and cooling has been minimised. Ceiling fans are used throughout to facilitate air movement throughout the building. Eave vents, ridge vents and roof stack ventilation have been utilised.
- To minimise consumption; WELS-rated fixtures and toilets were installed to minimise water usage in the house.
- A high level of natural ventilation is provided to prevent pollutants accumulating. The range hood is fluted to the outside. Both bathrooms have access to fresh air and light to prevent mould build-up. Low VOC paints and joinery will be used internally to minimise off-gassing. Carpets are not being used to limit dust accumulation.
Redlynch Valley Estate
- Roof water is collected in 5,000 litre rainwater tanks.
- Durable, pre-finished materials have been used externally in exposed or difficult-to-reach locations to minimise maintenance. The design, colours and material allow have longevity providing appeal to future purchasers.
- A solar hot water system is installed providing significant energy savings.
- Energy efficient appliances are installed.
- Plants are selected for improved air quality
- The outdoor area has been provided for shaded enjoyment away from the western sun and overlooks the backyard and children's play area.
- The clothesline is placed in an area accessible to a diverse range of people. It will have some shade via the eaves and good air flow.
Last updated April 2009