Site:This 10 acre rainforest site on the mid-north coast provides a sanctuary not only for its oldest native residents including koalas, wallabies, sugar gliders, possums as well and hundreds of birds and reptiles, but also its newest; a family of four, along with their faithful chooks and bountiful veggie gardens. Brief:This family live and breathe a sustainable lifestyle, and wanted their new 'forever' home to integrate passive solar design principles so they could be comfortable year round, without escalating energy bills, whilst minimising their impact on the environment. This home caters for their changing needs as the family grows up, with multi-use spaces providing flexibility for change. Design Features:Elevated slightly above the ground to maximise cooling breezes, This home sits quietly in the bush. Its raked ceilings pitch up to the north and allow the winter sun to flood the house in winter, whilst allowing shaded views up to the tree canopy in summer. Truly connected to the site, the plan steps forwards and backwards around natural site features to create north and south courtyards integrating veggie gardens, firepit, workshop, expansive living decks, and outdoor retreat decks from various bedrooms and bathrooms. Outdoor areas become part of everyday living. With composting toilets, solar hot water, full passive solar design, recycling and composting facilities, and energy efficient living, this family embody a sustainable lifestyle. Construction:This timber framed home is entirely clad in steel, to minimise ongoing maintenance, and for energy efficiency. Its hardwearing polished concrete floor copes superbly with the beach and forest location, helping to keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter. Result:“We are all very happy with our new home and find it to be very comfortable, peaceful, airy and spacious. We were very happy with the service from Helen at 3DE and firmly believe that it was worth the investment to achieve a great design for our home. It has proven to be a great decision”.