Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 - Menge House

Menge House is being been hailed as a benchmark for future sustainable energy and environmentally friendly development in the Barossa Valley.

A house that is being been hailed as a benchmark for future sustainable energy and environmentally friendly development in the Barossa Valley has been granted planning approval.

The yet to be built house will be constructed on 2.5 hectares of hills face land immediately adjacent to Mengler’s Hill lookout at Bethany. Because of changed circumstances the current owners have placed the development on the market but are keen to assist the new owners see the project completed.

It has been given the name Menge House to reflect the history of the area and in recognition of the visionary, Johannes Menge, who played a major role in the early settlement of the Barossa Valley.

The proponents of the project believe that if he were alive today Menge would embrace the environmental and visionary elements of the project and the way it embraces and answers the challenges of modern housing.

The challenge for the architect was to provide a practical, comfortable living environment, which provides occupants with the full benefits of views and local features, whilst, at the same time, using native vegetation and natural rock formations to blend the home into the surrounding environment.

For the Barossa Council the project will be a stand-out example and demonstration of modern housing meeting the challenges of friendly and an environmentally sustainable development.

The proponents of the project believe it will set a benchmark for the region and again demonstrate the Barossa Valley’s ability to combine development and meet the future needs of its growing population.

Download plans and high-res imageshere: http://www.swayve.com.au/publications/8f1442fa72/Hills-face-Barossa-House-sets-new-benchmark-for-sustainable-living.html

This development will:-

  • be carbon neutral
  • not rely on any outside energy source (no power lines, etc)
  • will not be visible to the outside world (will be covered by native vegetation)
  • not have any physical connection with the outside world, that is:

o No connection to the power grid.

o No connection to water mains.

o No physical connection to the telephone system.

o No connection to an outside sewerage system.

o No reliance on any service provided by local government.

o All windows angled to be non-reflective nor be seen from the valley.

o All water storage tanks to be buried or surrounded by native vegetation.

o All solar collectors to be hidden from sight by native vegetation.

o Heavy use of native vegetation to hide the house from view from all off-site viewing angles.

o State-of-the-art sewerage treatment system with extensive use of waste water for irrigating the native garden.

This development will also:-

  • not require the removal of any native vegetation.
  • have extensive planting of native vegetation.
  • use the latest technology for collecting and recycling water.
  • be totally self sufficient in terms of energy use.
Earth sheltered homes are low allergy, energy efficient homes that maximise existing surface space and minimise energy costs. Conservative estimates place running costs of earth sheltered homes at 50% less than conventional above ground housing.

While final layout and design of Menge House will be detailed when building plans are submitted, the overall brief to the architect is for an atrium or courtyard design enclosed in an outer earth shield. This area will be planted using specially selected native vegetation.

The atrium also provides natural light for inside the houses as well as an excellent outdoor living area which is protected from both summer and winter wind. This design has been chosen as being the most suitable and environmentally friendly in terms of the current local environment.

The basic overall objective set down for the Menge House is to minimise the usage of traditional energy sources achieved by the relatively stability of the ambient temperature inside the dwelling. Due of its location and the depth of the proposed building it is estimated the average annual internal temperature of the building will be between 15 and 24 degrees.

This means that air-conditioning should not be needed, and heating would usually only be needed on days when there is no direct sun.

This result is a house that is actually very “normal” inside, with all the expected features of a modern house, but with the added advantages of thermal stability, bush-fire, resistance, quietness and minimal external maintenance

This outstanding property will be a showcase for future sustainable energy and environmentally friendly development in the Barossa Valley.
  • be carbon neutral
  • not rely on any outside energy source (no power lines, etc)
  • will not be visible to the outside world (will be covered by native vegetation)
  • not have any physical connection with the outside world, that is:
o No connection to the power grid.

o No connection to water mains.

o No physical connection to the telephone system.

o No connection to an outside sewerage system.

o No reliance on any service provided by local government.

o All windows angled to be non-reflective nor be seen from the valley.

o All water storage tanks to be buried or surrounded by native vegetation.

o All solar collectors to be hidden from sight by native vegetation.

o Heavy use of native vegetation to hide the house from view from all off-site viewing angles.

o State-of-the-art sewerage treatment system with extensive use of waste water for irrigating the native garden.

This development will also:-
  • not require the removal of any native vegetation.
  • have extensive planting of native vegetation.
  • use the latest technology for collecting and recycling water.
  • be totally self sufficient in terms of energy use.

Earth sheltered homes are low allergy, energy efficient homes that maximise existing surface space and minimise energy costs. Conservative estimates place running costs of earth sheltered homes at 50% less than conventional above ground housing.

While final layout and design of Menge House will be detailed when building plans are submitted, the overall brief to the architect is for an atrium or courtyard design enclosed in an outer earth shield. This area will be planted using specially selected native vegetation.

The atrium also provides natural light for inside the houses as well as an excellent outdoor living area which is protected from both summer and winter wind. This design has been chosen as being the most suitable and environmentally friendly in terms of the current local environment.

The basic overall objective set down for the Menge House is to minimise the usage of traditional energy sources achieved by the relatively stability of the ambient temperature inside the dwelling. Due of its location and the depth of the proposed building it is estimated the average annual internal temperature of the building will be between 15 and 24 degrees.

This means that air-conditioning should not be needed, and heating would usually only be needed on days when there is no direct sun.

This result is a house that is actually very “normal” inside, with all the expected features of a modern house, but with the added advantages of thermal stability, bush-fire, resistance, quietness and minimal external maintenance

This outstanding property will be a showcase for future sustainable energy and environmentally friendly development in the Barossa Valley.

The sale of the property is being handled by Andrew Newland of Ray White, (0432 554 886) - http://www.realestate.com.au/property-residential+land-sa-bethany-2854915

18 Good Reasons for Earth Sheltered Living

  1. 1. Abundant natural light design allows for more natural lighting than a conventional home
  2. 2. All year round comfort - cool in summer, warm in winter.
  3. 3. Energy efficiency – with savings of between 50% and 80% on heating and cooling.
  4. 4. Ecologically sound and aesthetically pleasing
  5. 5. Maintains the natural beauty of its setting and in a living environment that is compatible with nature.
  6. 6. Provides a unique and exciting future.
  7. 7. Provides dramatic reductions in life cycle costs, estimated to be less than 1/4 of a conventionally constructed home.
  8. 8. Long lasting - constructed of concrete, earth sheltered homes will last well over 100 years.
  9. 9. Little or no maintenance.
  10. 10. Conventional heating and cooling systems can be used but with approximately 1/4 of the output that a conventional home requires.
  11. 11. Significant reductions in dust and pollen infiltration.
  12. 12. Allows the use of passive solar systems because the earth remains at a constant temperature.
  13. 13. Storm proof.
  14. 14. Termite proof
  15. 15. Leak Proof
  16. 16. Earth sheltered homes are structurally superior to conventional dwellings
  17. 17. Being constructed of reinforced concrete, there is nothing to decay.
  18. 18. Reinforced concrete with earth cover offers the best fire resistance available.

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Contact Profile

Richard Fewster, owner and designer of Menge House

P: 0418 820 209
W: www.arran.com.au

Keywords

barossa, barrosa, sustainable construction

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