When Choi Ropiha Architects was asked to design a home for an employee of the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), they knew it needed to demonstrate a number of active and passive sustainable initiatives while still accommodating a contemporary coastal lifestyle. The resulting house, which has expansive views over Mona Vale Beach, Australia, fits the bill to a T. To save energy, there is a large north-facing skylight to admit winter sun to the south facing living areas and to trap and hold warmth using the thermal mass of the structure. Other sustainability measures include a 15,000 L rainwater storage tank combined with grey water recycling to minimise water usage, the use of evacuated tubes for in-floor heating and hot water supply, and photovoltaic solar panels to provide electricity back to the grid. The project received the 2009 Pittwater Sustainability Award, and was a finalist in the 2009 BPN Sustainability Award as well as the 2008 TDA Design Award.
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