DPE House Design Studio Project 1
This perfectly situated home amongst the slopes of the Yarra Valley overlooks gorgeous surrounds while boasting many benefits of sustainable living. Adhering to the client’s brief for a spectacular, cleverly zoned, and light-filled home providing year-round comfort, Solar Solutions Design has crafted a luxurious yet environmentally conscious residence.
The company’s design fuses energy efficiency and style in one charming, modern abode. The property creates a striking contrast against the bushland environment with its angular lines juxtaposing the organic forms. The colours and materials selected for the design complement the earthy tones of the Yarra Valley, further reinforcing the dwelling’s connection to its locale.
Solar Solutions Design also considered the importance of local, indigenous plants and its effects on the ecology, so native grasses and shrubs were utilised for the landscaping.
The stack stone façade with stained timber accents captures the afternoon sun and adds a warmth to the angular exterior. This colour palette is echoed throughout the interiors with rich timber floors for additional visual harmony. The floor-toceiling windows across the entire side of the property offer uninterrupted views of the valley below, capturing further warmth and sunlight throughout the day while reducing the need for internal, artificial light.
As each window is double glazed, the home has improved heat retention capacity and energy efficiency during the colder months. The large windows partnered with an elliptical louvre shading system elevates the home’s comfort level; protecting inhabitants from the harsh summer sun, while boosting sun penetration during deep winter to ultimately provide ample natural light throughout communal spaces.
The courtyard areas are concealed from the entry to offer privacy and increase northern sun exposure. The location of the courtyards assists in crossflow ventilation, allowing prevailing winds to naturally cool the home. This cross-breeze bolsters natural temperature control, lowering heating and cooling costs throughout the year. By zoning the interiors, the home has a natural flow that ensures each space has its own functions and invites family and guests alike to take in the sprawling external views.
A specialised heat recovery ventilation system was installed by Solar Solutions Design to harness the natural thermal benefits of the sun. Circulating air throughout the home, the ventilation system maintains a constant and comfortable temperature from the most northern spaces to the cooler southern rooms. By regularly replenishing fresh air, the ventilation system allows for user-defined humidity control. Using the equivalent power of a 60-watt light bulb, the system ensures comfortable and sustainable living all-year round.
Adding to the home’s allure, Solar Solutions Design created a gorgeous alfresco area that seamlessly blends into a spacious infinity edge pool. The darkly stained timber decking complements the sandstone façade and unifies the alfresco space with the rest of the home.
Partnering with Ultimate Swimming Pools and Spas, the pool has an integrated spa for total relaxation throughout the year. Constructed with dark ceramic tiles, the pool water adopts a reflective character, taking on deep blue-green hue that blends beautifully with the bushland surrounds and the home’s Yarra Ranges aesthetic. Building on a sloped location presents many challenges but facilitates dynamic design choices. Solar Solutions Design continued the block shapes and angles motif in the alfresco space. By creating levelled and sheltered areas within the alfresco, Solar Solutions Design has allowed the homeowners to maximise their entertainment potential; establishing the feel of segregated, yet inviting spaces while maintaining design cohesion