Mountford Williamson Architecture’s Waitpinga Retreat has been shortlisted in the Sustainability section of the 2016 Houses Awards. The prestigious Houses Awards is an annual event showcasing the best of residential architecture across the country.
Environmental sustainability was an important aspect of the project brief, and the completed house with many sustainable credentials operates off the grid providing its own electricity, water and wastewater treatment.
The site offered both an area of beautiful remnant bushland of pink gums and grass trees and magnificent views to the coast. The decision was made to build to the edge of the bushland without disturbing it. The house is 1 room wide with bushland views on one side and ocean views the other side.
Earthworks were avoided by building off the ground and leaving the natural topography intact.
The house is oriented to maximise winter sun penetration and cooling sea breezes in the summer. The indoor/outdoor deck area between the main house and the guest accommodation acts as a conservatory in the cooler months with the glazed doors closed, or a breezeway in the warmer months with the doors open.
This indoor/outdoor space becomes the focus of the house, providing a flexible social space for relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the site.
The house operates ‘off the grid’ with all power produced by solar panels and stored in a battery bank.
Rainwater is captured and stored in tanks for use. Wastewater is treated through an aerobic sand bed filter and recycled onto the garden. High performance double glazing is used throughout to provide a comfortable internal environment despite the extensive use of glazing.
The house is heated by a slow combustion wood heater which burns fallen timber collected on the property. Warm air from the Living Room is delivered to other rooms from high level vents via ducting and low wattage fans. A core filled concrete block wall behind the fire provides thermal mass which stores and releases warmth into the room well after the fire has burned out.
The Waitpinga house will be featured in the June Edition of SA Life and also in a new Foxtel program featuring Australian Houses due to go to air mid-year.