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The house is amongst the first of its kind to act as a power station, supplying around 79 kwh of excess sustainable electricity to the grid daily

A two-storey house has been built on a long block in a historic Melbourne suburb. Whilst one-fourth of Australian homes have rooftop solar panels, unlike other houses in the neighbourhood, the “Garden House” generates all of its own electricity using solar power and even a little extra. Austin Maynard, the architect who designed the Garden House, aims to change the way we think about sustainability so that it doesn’t feel like an additional chore.

A family of five live in the house. “If you generate your own clean energy, you don’t have to feel guilty about living your life. You can actually be more comfortable than you were before,” one of the home’s owners said to Homestolove.

The solar array and battery storage are enough not only to power their climate-controlled heating, digital entertainment and a heated swimming pool, it also charges their Tesla car. And if that wasn’t enough, the 17kW of solar panels generate enough electricity to feed the local power grid -providing some additional passive income for the family.

The style of the house is modern and draws inspiration from a plethora of European countries. According to Homeslolove, the walls are made from recycled 1950s bricks from The Brick Recyclers and the floors are polished Imagecrete concrete by Hanson and Blackhole Blackbutt. Wooden components are provided by Timberwood.

“One of our key principles is to embed as much sustainability in the design as we can without relying on technology: things like chasing the northerly aspect, maximising natural light, insulating up high… getting those basics right is our job as architects. If a client wants to go and fill it up with cool tech, they can do that afterwards,” said Andrew Maynard who led the design.

Additional sustainability features include a heat recovery ventilation that constantly brings in fresh air that is conditioned to the same temperature of the house’s interior, a veggie patch, compost and a water tank that irrigates the garden and toilets. The house is also fully automated. The architect says the design is the most sustainable project he has worked on so far.

Written By: Katrina Lane 22nd July 2021 Email: Website:

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