Monday, 22 November 2010

A New Home

It has been rather remiss of me to not have mentioned that we are currently in the process of planning for our new home. We have to finalise the plans and submit it to the local council for approval by December 8. To cut a long story short, my parents have generously offered to give us our inheritance early. So my brother and I will be subdividing the property and building new homes. Because of laws that will likely change with the upcoming election (assuming a certain political party wins...), plans have to be submitted before Christmas and so for us, that means before we leave. This has added a somewhat intense element to our already jam-packed schedule before our departure. However, we feel so blessed to have been given this amazing gift.

The ball only started rolling officially 2 weeks ago, when the town planner, surveyor and architect determined that the project is feasible. We have been meeting regularly since. We went to a satisfying session at the architect's last week where they presented 3 concept designs for us to peruse. After a rather stressful week of arguing about what we want for our new home, we were pleasantly surprised at what came back!

We have decided to go green and build an ecologically friendly home. The plan is to only use passive heating and cooling to keep the house at constant temperatures of between 18-22 degrees celcius all year round. So we'll have huge waterbags underneath the house, super-insulated everything, roofs to maximise solar panelling, rely on evaporative cooling and solar hydronic underfloor heating. Ok so the underfloor heating is not so passive! But it will only cost only about $5-$6 to run per year thanks to the lovely sun.

We are both heat averse people. DH virtually lives in a 19 degree environment being in operating theatres most of the time. So we are somewhat nervous about dropping our beloved air-conditioning unit. The other thing that I may have to give up is the bamboo floor which I love so much. It apparently doesn't have enough thermal mass...

Today was a presentation of the "amalgamated" plan. They have taken elements out of each of the 3 designs and consolidated them into the one plan. I LOVE it! The next step is to configure the whole design in 3D. I can't wait until next Monday. We still have 17 days to finalise everything...piece of cake!

1 comment:

  1. Architect here *wave*
    I commend you on going green. It looks like you are going with the actual USEFUL sustainable products, heating and cooling.

    Best wishes in having something that actually works built. It is still very much trial and error. Especially in Sydney where there is such a fluctuating climate to deal with. As opposed to Darwin which is clearly in one type etc.

    I would still put ducting for AC in (myself) as someone who doesn't tolerate temps over 21 degrees with the hope you don't have to use it. But putting it in as it is constructed is a far easier thing to do than post construction should the 'in theory' passive stuff doesn't work.

    Congrats on getting this wonderful opportunity to build a new home for your amazing family.