OPEN 11am-4pm Sunday, 30th September 2018
Section Size: 513m2
Floor Area: 246m2
The Baillie EcoHome has had a long gestation period. It started nearly a decade ago with the owners’ ambition
to build an extremely energy efficient family home using the principles that Russell had been preaching for over
a decade in his various day jobs. Finding the right site to build on took a while as a location that minimised the need for car use and a site orientation that allowed for all normally occupied rooms to face north were deemed critical. By then a large number of other sustainable building principles had wound their way into the project, including materials selection, air quality, water minimisation, resilience during utility infrastructure outages, etc.
The design concept follows passive solar principles of capturing and storing the sun’s energy, whilst providing
appropriate levels of shading and passive ventilation to minimise over-heating in the summer. During the cold snap this July we had frost on the lawn and an outside temperature of 0.2 degC, whilst inside the large open plan living area dipped to 17.5 degC. And over the last three winters, we’ve never needed any supplementary heating.
Electricity is mainly provided via solar panels, with excess daytime electricity stored in a Tesla Powerwall battery for use in the evening. The system is grid connected and over a twelve month period exports more electricity than it imports (excluding car charging). This system is now programmed to ensure that the battery carries sufficient charge, by importing at the right time if needed, to ensure that we do not draw electricity off the grid during peak periods – benefiting both local distribution and national transmission systems.
Rainwater is collected, filtered and reused via three 5,000 litre tanks (it’s a tight city site) that have a mains connection to ensure there is always at least three to five days water supply in them in case of mains outage during a dry spell.
Planting is nearly all natives or edibles, including a native grass lawn that is endemic to this area. The green roof is
designed, but not yet constructed.
Although the owners have now been living in it for two and a half years, this very comfortable family home is still a work in progress with a few things still on the ‘to do’ list and a few tweaks underway.