Wheeny Creek

NSW
Site:Situated on a sandstone escarpment overlooking Wheeny Creek north west of Sydney, this site has sweeping views over pristine wetlands, bush and creeks to the south, along with an extreme bushfire risk. Brief:The owners had lived in a residence adjoining this property, which was dark, cold and uncomfortable for much of the year. They were determined to build a new home filled filled with light and a sense of calm; a home which would be off-grid - autonomous, generating its own power, collecting its own water and treating its waste on site. Situated well away from civilisation, it needed to be self-sufficient and energy efficient and intimately connected to the site. Design Features:The design of this home takes full advantage of views over wetlands and creeks to the south, yet opens up to the north to create an airy, light interior, maximising cooling cross breezes during the summer. It steps across the site to create lush landscaped courtyards to the north and south, blurring the lines between inside and out. A tracking PV system generates all the power required, and 120,000 litre water tanks ensure there is water year round. Water wise and fire-wise plantings help to minimise water requirements and inhibit fire around the property. The home is designed to resist bushfire attack, with steel roof and wall cladding, curved eaves, and hebel powerpanel walls. A resort-like pool is located to assist with passive cooling in summer, and an additional water source for fire fighting. Construction:Clad in Hebel Powerpanel and colorbond steel in colours that echo the natural surroundings, this timber frame home maximises energy efficiency with high-spec. hardwood windows and doors, and thermal mass concrete floors in combination with bulk insulation help to minimise the need for additional heating with no additional cooling required in summer. Result:Susan rang us soon after she moved in to tell us how much she loved her new home, especially the quality of light and warmth on a cold winter's day, and we are delighted. This beautifully constructed home sits quietly in the landscape, providing a truly enhanced life experience for its owners. "Helen’s ability to listen to our ideas, ask the right questions and impart some of her own insightful thoughts combined to bring our dream home to reality. Our remote bush location meant we had to be sensitive to so many issues including environmental and economical, while still achieving a desired level of comfort, style, energy efficiency and practicability. Helen helped us realise all of this and more in such an accommodating and professional manner.”