Off Grid FZ House
Nestled in Sydney’s dense Blue Mountains bushland, Off Grid House acts as a premium benchmark for sustainable living under extreme conditions while coexisting with nature. Boasting an 8.2 star rating, a holistic approach is ensured from start to finish of procurement and beyond into post occupancy. The modest, highly durable dwelling is net zero emissions in a BAL-40 / BAL-FZ setting; self-sufficient in terms of power, water and sewage.
The distinctive architectural form unifies two skillion roofs of opposing slopes to optimise solar energy generation over the living area, as well as passive heating and cooling to the bedrooms, bolstered by high levels of insulation and air tightness, an HRV, external shading and double glazing.
Rainwater collected from roofing serves all the home’s needs, and a worm farm wastewater treatment system manages sewerage. While being located in a bushfire-prone vicinity suggested using a concrete shell, the embodied energy is partly offset by cladding and decking which a low carbon product containing 60 per cent recycled industrial materials. Trees requiring removal are reused in the home’s internal structure and joinery. The design enables a deep connection to nature at differing scales, positively contributing to the mental well-being of occupants, e.g. through native gardens with edible produce dotted around the dwelling, and prospects of lush bushlands both near and far.
This environmentally and ecologically-considerate design celebrates Australia’s great outdoors, providing an oasis connected to nature as well as a safe haven when protection is required; testament to sensitive, innovative and sustainable architectural practices.
Photography by Simon Anderson (1, 4, 5) Nick Bowers (2, 3).
Furniture: Studio Pip/Homeware Galley, Koala & Muji. Lighting: Inlite, Beacon Lighting, Superlight. Finishes: Ecolour, Whittle Wax, Synteko. Fitting & Fixtures: Veneta, Nordic (blinds), Morso, Ubiq, VectorHRV, Permathene, Maxim (blinds).