Karragullen Residence

This one-of-a-kind design goes to show that a sustainable, energy efficient home can come in all forms.

Contrary to popular belief, sustainable homes don’t all need to be super contemporary. Based on  a typical country homestead, this home blends modern sustainable principles with traditional aesthetics.

Client priorities

Our clients loved the natural aesthetic of rammed earth and wanted it to feature throughout the home. This added extra complexity to the home, however, as while rammed earth provides good thermal mass, it’s not a good insulator.

To work around this, we added insulation into select internal and north-facing walls.


The result is a high-performing building that remains consistent with the client’s needs.

While we include double glazing in most of our designs, we learned that these clients enjoy opening up their home no matter the weather. Because of this, we decided against including double glazing, as it would have been an expensive, unnecessary addition.

Sustainable features

A key component of this design was to make the most of solar orientation and valley views. This would have been straight forward had the views been to the north. Instead, however, they’re to the south. So, to achieve both, we designed two buildings which are linked by the entry walkway. Each building is essentially one room wide, which allows the living area to capture the valley views to the south and the winter sun to the north. Such thin buildings are also perfect for cross flow ventilation in summer and solar heat gain in winter.

A louvred roof system over the courtyard allows the occupants to control sun into the living room.

All of the usual sustainable extras have also been added, including a 4kw photovoltaic power system, a heat pump system and a Biolytix wastewater treatment system. Rainwater is captured from the roof and is stored in a Colorbond rainwater tank. With all these additions this home is essentially self-sufficient, a great way to be sustainable.

let’s work together

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