Sustainable Beachside Home

This sustainable home, with a prestigious ocean front location, was designed, engineered and constructed by Whitehouse Concepts.

The site had a number of design constraints including:
– Foreshore building line and view sharing requirements
– Protected trees and heritage buildings on adjacent blocks
– Sloping land and foreshore instability
– Large north coast sewer main running through the block

The design goal was to create a functional and practical home suitable for a family. It takes advantage of the ocean aspect, while addressing the street frontage and design constraints. This resulted in a home split over 3 levels to follow the slope of the land. The home appears to be single level with a small top storey from the street but excavates to create a third level closer to the ocean side.

Once the design was approved in a three-month timeframe, construction began with the demolition of the existing 1960’s fibro home on the block. Following this substantial excavation was required to create the lower level and sink the house into the block. This minimized obstructing views from the surrounding properties. The structural frame for the home caused the most difficulty, cost and time during construction with a complicated arrangement. It was split over the levels with raked ceilings internally and a 30 degree turn at the ocean side. This was to bring the home as close as possible to the foreshore building line, maximizing views.


The home was designed to be net zero energy and sustainable, taking lessons learnt from the Sustainable Country Style Home and Illawarra Flame home and applying them to the design and climatic region. The sustainable goal was to have a home that maintained a steady internal temperature, while being energy bill neutral. In addition, the home aims to be energy neutral with an electric car for commuting. The house is airtight, keeping the salt air out, while fan ventilated, maintaining a healthy indoor air quality. To do this the home has the following features:
– Double glazed windows with commercial frames throughout
– R2.5 wall insulation with breathable sarking
– R6.0 ceiling insulation with R1.0 under sheet insulation
– R2.5 Internal wall insulation
– 5.95kW solar array
– 44 evacuated tube solar hot water system
– Insulating double cellular blinds
– Improved seals to all doors, including the garage door
– Solar passive design, taking advantage of northern sun
– Free cooling/heating outdoor and roof cavity air system
– Efficient ducted air conditioning
– Induction cooktop
– Light coloured roof
– Energy monitoring and display


The home was constructed by Whitehouse Concepts over a 14 month period, including demolition. The operation of the home has exceeded the net zero energy goal by about 5 times and neutralised energy bills. The following trades did a fantastic job on site helping build the sustainable home:

Surveyor – Dennis Smith Surveys
Geotechnical Engineering – Southern Geotechnics
Demolition – World wide demolitions
Excavation – Jasons Bobcats
Roofing – Kiteleys
Plumbers – Wills & Munn
Electrician – Peter Thomas
Air Conditioning – Camray
Plasterer – Pristine Plastering
Kitchen – Best kitchens
Tiling – KJ wall and floor tiling
Driveway – 24/7 Concreting
Rendering – Rok Rendering
Aluminium – lifestyle aluminium
External painting – City Coast Painting

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