Sustainable Home, Canberra

Built on a vacant ‘Mr. Fluffy’ block, we concieved this new home as a series of light-filled spaces built around a spine of rammed earth. The heavy thermal mass of the rammed earth cocoons the living areas and the entry. This regulates humidity and temperature inside. The home has achieved an energy rating of 8.8 stars. The temperature remains stable between 20-22 degrees though both summer and winter.

Energy Efficient Architecture

The winter sun warms living areas and kids’ bedrooms, looking north over the rooftops of Waramanga. The owners’ love of timber is visible in the finely crafted staircase and joinery. It is well insulated, including pro-clima wrapping to minimise drafts and air leakage. With a large north-facing deck and pergola of recycled timber and beams, the sun pours in during winter. The eaves and pergola prevent the sun entering during summer, making it comfortable year-round.

The house is all-electric with a 9.6kW solar system and 9kw LGchem battery system. It is energy positive for all but the coldest months. Heating is via solar heat pump hydronic heating in the insulated slab. The insulation and design means there is no heating system needed upstairs. Hot water comes from an efficient heat-pump to minimise energy use. Ceiling fans cool the living areas and bedrooms. Large doors and windows give good cross-ventilation to purge hot air.The double-height entry acts as a thermal chimney, venting warm air as it rises from the living areas. Triple-glazed composite windows complete the energy efficient design.

Canberra Materiality

A mix of modern materials with recycled red bricks combine a contemporary palette with iconic Canberran style. The recycled red brick pays homage to the existing suburban fabric. The home fits in, while enjoying improved environmental performance compared to its mid-century neighbours. This home is smart, comfortable and ready for the 21st century.



Building Features:

  • Rammed earth walling internally
  • Recycled bricks and recycled timber
  • Triple-glazed Aluminium-Timber composite Döpfner Windows from Laros Technologies
  • Intello-plus internal wall membrane
  • Hydronic in-slab heating
  • 9.6kW Grid-feed solar photovoltaic system
  • 2500L PolyTank rainwater storage
  • Kitchen cabinet design to minimise dust collection
  • Cross flow ventilation
  • Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
  • Recycled timber pergola from Thor’s Hammer


Australian Homestead Living Room by Architecture Republic

Rammed Earth Entry

Craftsmanship and thermal efficiency combine in this double-height entry space. Acting as a thermal chimney, it also showcases the owners’ love for timber joinery and custom detailing. The rammed earth wall acts as a tactile guidepost, leading the visitor through to the rooms beyond.

Storage, space and function

The kitchen balances large amounts of storage with generous circulation and preparation space. A home office is hidden behind sleek cabinetry. Laundry, pantry and wine storage nestle in the thermally-stable heart of the home, behind rammed earth walls. The kitchen is the social hub of the house, with connection to all living areas, including the outdoor deck.

Floor Plan by Architecture Republic, Australia
Australian Homestead Rammed Earth Colorbond by Architecture Republic

Indoor/Outdoor Living

The generous north-facing triple-glazed slider connects onto the adjacent outdoor living area. This effectively doubles the size of the living room and maximising solar gains in wintertime.

Timber Joinery

The house features custom timber joinery and recycled timber – a mix of the owner’s craftsmanship and the builders’. The timber and rammed earth bring warmth and texture to the otherwise minimalist palette.

Australian Homestead Garden by Architecture Republic