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2020 HIA Australian GreenSmart Custom Built Home

HIA GreenSmart Awards

2020 HIA Australian GreenSmart Custom Built Home

HIA GreenSmart Awards

Winner: Blue Eco Homes, NSW

Located on a remote cattle station in rural NSW, this compact off-the-grid family home built by sustainability experts Blue Eco Homes, is the winner of the 2020 HIA Australian GreenSmart Custom Built Home award.

The announcement was made during a virtual awards ceremony on 8 September, which saw the Blue Mountains-based builder take home three other national categories.

Inspired by an upside down Akubra hat, architect Alexander Symes imagined a large roof area that protrudes around the entire building to offer shade in the summer months while also maximising water catchment into a 120,000-litre water tank.

Externally, the robust three-bedroom home is wrapped in corrugated metal cladding, broken up by softer vertical timber battens, with large timber-framed double-glazed windows positioned around the living and bedrooms to capture the panoramic bushland vista.

Adding to the drama is the 8kW solar PV system, which extends off the main structure to form a large awning over one of the entry points into the home.

The floor plan, window to wall ratio and roof all respond to the natural climatic conditions of the site, with extensive micro-climate analysis and weather data helping to form the positioning and orientation of the dwelling, window openings and window proportions.

The use of concrete in the floors and walls provide thermal mass to help retain heat internally in the cooler months, contrasting with structural steel and Blackbutt timber joinery while energy- and water-efficient appliances and tapware help conserve precious resources.

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Australian GreenSmart Custom Built Home finalists