Building a self-sustaining home can involve a higher upfront investment, but it usually pays off in the long run thanks to increased efficiency and lower energy bills. Sydney residents Geoff Carroll and Julie Young did just that by hiring CplusC Architectural Workshop to renovate their 1980s terrace house into an environmentally friendly home that allows them to grow their own produce and track daily energy consumption.
Carroll and Young, who work at a company that helps clients confront the challenges of hyper-urbanization and climate change, wanted a home that would reflect their commitment to sustainability. The result, named Aquas Perma Solar Firma, is a house dominated by sustainable features like a greenery-filled central courtyard, flourishing vertical gardens, rainwater storage systems and a chicken coop.
The architects significantly enhanced the building’s thermal performance and introduced ample outdoor spaces. They also reduced the number of bedrooms from four to two, relocated the staircase to the front of the building, and converted the existing carport into a permaculture garden.
A rain chain going through a large concrete weight funnels rainwater into an underground tank. This rainwater is used for supplying the laundry, toilet and garden. The rear garden features an aquaponics system for fish harvesting, a wicking bed, a compost system, a vegetable garden and chicken coops. Finally, an evacuated glass tube solar system is used for hot water, while a solar array provides clean energy for electricity.
Photos by Murray Fredericks