Property: 4
Location: Manifold Heights
Type: New Energy Efficient

When you visit this beautiful home in Manifold Heights, the first thing you notice is how light-filled, warm and comfortable it is.  It’s not only beautiful and comfortable, but it also generates most of its electricity needs on site.  This is a super-efficient, passive solar house with cutting edge heating and energy generation technologies.

The house has a 5kw solar PV array. This is more than  consumed and future plans include a heat pump system and batteries.  We have more cold days in Geelong than hot days, so heating has been a priority. The home faces north and has double glazing (argon-filled) in the windows and doors. Window and door frames are made from Accoya timber. The owners have maximised bulk insulation in the roof cavity, and have insulation in ceiling/floor cavities, and internal walls.  The external walls have +50mm frames which allows an extra layer of insulation. They have also draught-proofed the whole house, including conducting a blower-door test to just short of passive-haus standard.

For heating there is a Solar-Venti solar heating system, with heat shifters throughout the house. There is also have a pellet (wheat) heater.  It costs <$1 per day to heat the house in winter.  The house never gets colder than 18 degrees, and can be 25+ degrees on a sunny day in winter.

Fans throughout the house provide cooling and casement windows open to the south and catch the cool breezes. There is also a “green verandah” of deciduous vines/plants to provide shade to the north side.

The house has >25,000 litres of rain water tanks.  The water is used for the garden and toilets.  All grey water is captured and recycled (from the showers, bath and laundry).  The water is pumped to a worm farm, via a gator-pro system. All compost goes into the worm farm.  The water drains from the worm farm to a reed bed, and onto the garden via a pumped irrigation system. Over 1,000 litres of water are pumped to the garden each week.

The internal timber floors are all recycled floorboards (Vic Ash and baltic pine). Several of the light fittings are from antique shops.  The bricks from the old house are used for paving in the garden and the timber frame from the old house has been used to build raised garden beds.

The garden is used to grow vegetables and they have planted a “Geelong-native” gum tree.  The home project is still a work-in-progress with plans in the next year or so for fruit trees, chooks and a beehive.

Property Features
  • Solar Venti/Python solar heating system
  • Nero pellet heater, using wheat as fuel
  • Grey water pumped to composting worm farm
  • Glenda Shomaly Architect
Experts On Site
  • Phil Baulch (Python Solar Heating)
  • Darron Crick (Multi Fuel Heating Australia)
  • Glenda Shomaly (architect)
  • Monica Winston (Transition Streets)
  • Shellbeez Backyard Beehive