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      SUSTAINABLE MICRO-VILLAGES AND THE CARWOOLA HOUSE PROJECT IN CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

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          INTRODUCTION

          Our needs as social and familial beings change over the course of our lives; however, it has become common practice to build as though these needs remain static through time. The needs of a child, young adult, family, middle age and the elderly are dynamic between generations, and adding to these evolving life needs is the crisis of housing affordability. Three decades ago a house could cost 3–4 times an individual's annual income, today that cost is closer to 10–12 times. In response to these challenges, this article explores the concept of Sustainable Micro-Villages, providing insight into a new approach to energy-efficient housing with reference to our case-study project—Carwoola House.

          Sustainable Micro-Villages can be defined as a cluster of integrated dwellings, referred to here as Living Pods. Essentially a “single house” on a single site, these micro-villages can be comprised of two or more smaller buildings that provide private dwelling space for a single person, couples, couples with children, parents, elderly, friends and any combination of social groups. Living pods cluster around a natural garden setting, enhanced by water-harvesting, and are connected with covered, open or enclosed links depending on the climate of the site. The recent iterations of this type of dwelling also incorporate solar passive design, passive house and greenhouse technology.

          In Australia, new house designs are evaluated as part of an approvals process for their energy rating. 1 The Australian Building Code requires a minimum 6-star rating, ranging up to 10 stars for any new home to be built. A 6-star rating provides a good level of insulation and energy performance if built correctly, while 10 stars represent the highest level of energy performance and refers to a dwelling that needs no heating or cooling. Sustainable Micro-Villages consistently achieve an 8 to 10-star rating by combining Solar Passive Design principles (good orientation, thermal mass and thermal performance) and Passive House Technology (high thermally performing building with low air leakage, no thermal bridging, high performance glazing and heat recovery ventilation) in various combinations to suit the climate, context and budget.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          jgrb
          Journal of Green Building
          College Publishing
          1552-6100
          1943-4618
          1943-4618
          Fall 2018
          : 13
          : 4
          : 167-190
          Author notes

          1. Paul Barnett is the Director of Paul Barnett Design Group, an award-winning architecture firm with offices in Canberra and Melbourne (Australia). Paul is a Senior Architect and certified Passiv Haus Designer with the Passiv Haus Institute based in Germany. He and his firm has been designing and building sustainable homes for over 25 years, with a particular focus on Passiv Haus Technology, Solar Passive Design and Sustainable Design principles. www.pbdg.com.au

          1. “The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) is a star rating system (out of ten) that rates the energy efficiency of a home, based on its design.” ( http://www.nathers.gov.au/)

          Article
          jgb.13.4.167
          10.3992/1943-4618.13.4.167
          © 2018 College Publishing
          Page count
          Pages: 24
          Product
          Categories
          INDUSTRY CORNER

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