Built using standard materials and construction techniques, the Sustainable Mandurah Home will offer flexible accommodation featuring three bedrooms, two living areas and an activity area ideal for use as a study or fourth bedroom.

The passive solar design will ensure rooms are a pleasant temperature all year round – reaching no more than 28C in summer months and dropping no lower than 18C in winter – without the aid of artificial heating or cooling.

Other design features include: 

Design and orientation

  • Orienting the house on the block so that living areas face north to encourage the penetration of winter sun
  • Minimal glazing to the east and west to limit the entry of harsh morning and afternoon summer sun
  • Careful use of shade to deflect heat in the summer without compromising the penetration of sun during the winter
  • Windows positioned to permit maximum cross ventilation, capturing cooling summer breezes
  • Solar louvres angled to deflect heat in the summer and allow penetration of sun in the winter
  • Systematic insulation in all relevant wall and roof/ceiling to help keep temperatures stable
  • Use of trees and plants to protect the home from summer heat and cold winter winds
  • Ecovents to remove excess heat in the roof space


  • Photovoltaic cells capture and convert much of the sun’s energy into electricity – a 1.5kW grid-connected 10 panel system will provide the electricity needs of the home. A digital display will show data such as energy generated and greenhouse gas emissions saved
  • A gas-boosted solar hot water system providing all the family’s hot water needs
  • A selection of energy efficient lighting and appliances


  • Water-wise landscaping
  • A grey water reuse and storm water collection system that collects grey water from sinks, baths and showers and re-directs it for garden irrigation
  • A selection of water-efficient appliances, including AAA rated taps and showerheads 

Materials and furnishings

  • Appropriate selection and location of building materials to provide the thermal mass required to store heat from the sun
  • Materials sourced from sustainable sources wherever possible and economically feasible
  • Low allergenic and low toxicity materials for improved indoor air quality


  • Universal access features such as wider doorways, flat continuous pathways and light switches one metre above floor level to ensure comfort and ease for people of all abilities
  • The kitchen is designed to maximise preparation area and cooking space and provide easy and safe access to other non-cooking areas.