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This old ecohouse

After a painstaking deconstruction process the Australian firm Riddel Architecture successfully built a new riverfront home in Brisbane with 95% of the materials from the previous house. The Hill End Ecohouse, as it’s called, is fully self sufficient in both water and power and has a monitoring system to measure the use of energy, gas and water as well as temperature and humidity. The north-facing roof has 3kW photovoltaic panels which generate more than enough energy for daily household requirements.

A host of innovative energy saving techniques have earned the home a 6-star energy efficiency rating, the highest standard in Australia. A light color finish on the windows increases reflection and recycled polyester bulk insulation and timber frames reduce heat transfer. Heating is provided by solar gain captured by the light, polished concrete floors and well-insulated walls. 60,000L of rainwater storage supplies the whole house and garden. House rainwater is pre-filtered, heated by solar panels and stored in an insulated tank. To reduce water waste, a hot water recirculation unit reheats cold water and greywater is treated and recycled on site.

With all these requirements to consider you might think the designers would to have compromise on style, but as you can see the house combines features from the site’s former 19th-century structure in a completely modern way. “We were dedicated to creating the greenest home possible without compromising style. The idea of deconstructing a previous property to create something new was really exciting to us.”