The Harvey Farmhouse

An affordable off-grid design perfect for farm living.

The Harvey Farmhouse was designed for a couple wanting to relocate for their future retirement. It was to be, first and foremost, functional and suited to their farm lifestyle, while having a different and more developed aesthetic compared to the typical farmhouses of the area. Designed to suit their unique needs, the house has two bedrooms, with the second bedroom to be used mostly as an office as they run their business from home. The floorplan is small, but each space was designed thoughtfully to maximise the storage within the house, including built in cabinetwork.

The house runs from east to west, to maximise the northern light and to capitalise on the views to the north and south. To the north will be an orchard, a vegetable garden, and a dam. To the south will be paddocks for horses.

Client priorities

Sustainability was a key concern for our clients and was considered at every stage of the project.

They also wanted a home that was practical for their lifestyle. Verandas on both sides of the home allow our clients to regularly sit outside and enjoy the natural environment and views. We also located the main entry on the south veranda, where there is access to the laundry. This allows the laundry to also function as a mud room. There is an additional formal entry to the house for guests.

 

A significant consideration for our clients was designing specific spaces for valued personal items. This included a model Porsche collection, To accommodate this we designed a space near the entrance that could hold a display cabinet. This helped create a home that was uniquely theirs and celebrated who they are and their specific interests.

Challenges

After spending a lot of money on other infrastructure for their farm our clients had a smaller budget than they had hoped. This meant designing a smaller home, but still making it work for their needs. To ensure they end up with a home they’re very happy with, we sat down with our clients and discussed their lifestyles and what they would need from a home.  We then worked hard to make sure that every space had a purpose, and within this, tried to incorporate as much storage as possible.

Sustainable features

The most efficient design choice for this house was to orient it running lengthwise from east to west, with larger windows to the north. Double glazing on all windows, and verandas will help protect the home from the heat of the sun. High ceiling fans will help push warm air back into the room during winter, and high windows allow hot air to escape during summer.

Multiple rainwater tanks and ample roof space for a solar PV system allows the home to be completely off-grid. This makes it much easier for our clients but is also great for the environment.

Due to its location, the home will be prefabricated by Offsite. They will make the timber frames, floor and roof structures of the house in the factory before bringing them out to the site to be erected. These frames will be basically complete with cladding, insulation, and windows all in place when they’re delivered. This process has a much faster turnaround time and significantly reduces material waste.

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