Hill End Ecohouse / Riddel Architecture

© Christopher Frederick Jones

Architects: Riddel Architecture
Location: Hill End, inner Brisbane,
Project Team: David Gole, Emma Scragg, Simon Boundy
Engineering: Bligh Tanner Engineering
Landscape: Deike Richards – Landscaping
Contractors: Rob Peagram Builders
Site Area: 638 sqm
Project Area: 261 sqm
Budget: $3,500 p/sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Christopher Frederick Jones

Queensland-based, has completed work on a new high end private residence constructed almost entirely from the house it replaced.

Situated in Hill End, inner Brisbane, Australia, the Hill End Ecohouse was built from recycled materials, using 80% of the salvaged material from the 1930s house that originally occupied its narrow riverfront site. A painstaking deconstruction process resulted in just two small skips of non-reusable materials being discarded.

All additional materials were locally sourced and have undergone rigorous assessment of their environmental, social and economic sustainability credentials. Appliances were sourced to support local industry and reduce energy-miles.

elevation + section

With sustainability at its core the Ecohouse holds a 6-star energy efficiency rating and is self sufficient without sacrificing its aesthetic beauty.

Riddel Architecture team, David Gole and Emma Scragg worked in collaboration with Robert Peagram Builders to realise its vision of creating a high end home that was based on environmental principles. Recycled materials were carefully detailed to become design features throughout the home.

Director of Riddel Architecture, Robert Riddel said:

“We were dedicated to creating the greenest home possible without compromising style. The idea of deconstructing a previous property to create something new was really exciting to us. We are pleased with how the house manages to fuse beauty with eco facilities.”

© Christopher Frederick Jones

The design of this three-storey Ecohouse relates to the subtropical Australian climate with openings maximised to capture cool breezes, sun and daylight. The house is in two halves, connected by the striking Gallery breezeway, which acts as a funnel for fresh air. Throughout, large windows provide views of the surrounding river landscape whilst reducing the need for artificial light. An informal and relaxed lifestyle is encouraged by the open plan layout and the timber and tin aesthetic conveys a sense of the Queensland character.

The Hill End Ecohouse is fully self sufficient in both water and power and has a monitoring system to measure the use of energy, gas and water as well as temperature and humidity. This system also provides a carbon footprint for the house. The north-facing roof has 3kW photovoltaic panels which generate 15kWh/day, ample energy for household requirements.

© Christopher Frederick Jones

With a 6-star energy efficiency rating, the house has recycled polyester bulk insulation and timber frames to reduce heat transfer. Heating is provided by solar gain captured by the light, polished concrete floors and well-insulated walls. An efficient gas fire provides winter heating to the southern living space, where solar heating is not possible.

60,000L of rainwater storage supplies the whole house and garden. House rainwater is pre-filtered, heated by solar panels and stored in a well-insulated tank. To reduce water waste, a hot water recirculation unit reheats cold water and greywater is treated and recycled on site.

© Christopher Frederick Jones

Outside, the building and windows have light coloured finishes to increase the reflection of daylight and generous awnings provide protection from the sun and rain. The spacious bedroom and living areas open onto beautiful outdoor spaces with lush plantings.

A drop down blind to the River Terrace provides shading from the morning sun whilst the north street-facing balcony is sheltered by a vegetated trellis made using recycled timber from the original site. The landscaping features woodchips from removed trees and gravel crushed from original concrete slabs.

Cite: "Hill End Ecohouse / Riddel Architecture" 27 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=57708>
  • http://uptodayarch.blogspot.com up_today_arch

    Nice house, but… what is exectly “eco” in this house?…

    • jonas

      well, I think there is a pretty extensive explanation what is eco – its built almost entirely from reused materials, got a 6 star energy efficiency rating, is that not enough?

  • SixthFlick

    Nice design. Looks like an enjoyable space to live in with all the different levels of outdoor terraces.

  • Honlun

    Wow… alot of problems solved with elegance.. i still cannot believe that 80% of the original house is recycled into this new one. The material doesn’t look 1930 at all. it poses a question, if this new house is built from materials from the old house, on the same plot of land, is it still the same house? considering the fact that only the shape/form and space changed?

  • Andy

    I guess there would be limited cross ventilation because of the orientation of building. Still.. Lots of Problem are well solved.

  • http://www.affinityclan.com/ Simon

    Nice design. Looks like an enjoyable space to live in with all the different levels of outdoor terraces.

  • http://www.geekcomic.com/ Bill

    Nice house, but… what is exectly “eco” in this house?…

  • http://twitter.com/nicholaspatten/status/13003600240 Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Hill End Ecohouse. http://bit.ly/9reoqz

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  • windzerg

    My roommates came up a similar idea few days ago…but this one is already built.

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