• Orientation of the house
The long sides of the house face north and south.
• Double glazed windows
All windows are double-glazed, with more windows on the north fac-
ing side of the house, and minimal windows on the east and west
sides. The windows are located so that when they are opened, air
from the outside can flow through the house.
• Honeycomb blinds
These blinds provide additional insulation when drawn.
The eaves on the north side of the house are designed so that the
inside of the house is shaded from the summer sun (when the ob-
jective is to keep the house cool), but not from the winter sun (when
the objective is to warm the house).
• Solar Photovoltaic System
The solar panels generate most of the electricity used in the house,
with any excess fed into the grid.
The battery is charged from the solar panels, and provides much of
the electricity to the house when the solar panels are not generat-
ing, such as in the evening. On some occasions when there is a
power shortage on the grid, the battery can be used to feed-in to the
• Battery backup
When there is a blackout (i.e. no electricity from the grid), some of
the circuits in the house are configured to continue to operate using
electricity from the battery.
• LED lighting
LED lights are more energy efficient than older forms of electric
• Hydronic heating and cooling
The house is heated when required by circulating warm water
through tubes embedded in the slab floor. It is cooled by circulating
cool water through the same tubes. A reverse cycle heat pump is
used to heat or cool the water. The hydronic heating and cooling
system can be operated during the day when the solar panels are
generating, and turned off at other times. The slab acts as a heat
bank, and so continues to heat or cool the house for a period after
the hydronic heating and cooling system is turned off.
Carbon Action Project
1 March 2020