18 Reserve Street Bicton

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Although the home was designed in 2006, construction didn’t commence until late 2009. The intention has always been to experiment with new green technologies as well as incorporate sound established practices. As you will notice we are still finishing construction, particularly on the lower areas, however the main elements worth checking out are:

Geothermal Heating and Cooling System

Make sure you get a guided tour from Colin Hayes to explain how this fantastic new technology works. We believe that his may be the first “open loop” geoexchange system in WA that provides both heating and cooling. The lap pool can also be geothermally heated. You may notice the heat under the floors in the north pavilion as the hydronics under floor heating is still turned on minimum.

Passive Solar Design Principles

The house is oriented within 15 degrees of solar north. The living areas are located in the north pavilion and bedrooms in the south which is always cooler. There are no windows in the east-west walls except for the highlight ventilation louvres. The pavilion design acts as a double solar collector for the cooler south pavilion in the winter months. Mechanical screening is yet to be installed on the west face of the bridge as well as the balcony. Isolating doors on the bridge allow zoning of the two pavilions. Curtains in pelmets moderate the sun. Thermal mass is provided by the internal and external Urbanform walls to store heat. The house uses Low E (emittance)rated glass throughout.


The Urbanform system (first time used in WA) is the Rolls Royce equivalent of reverse brick veneer where the insulation (that prevents heat flow) is ideally located on the outside and the thermal mass (which stores heat energy) is ideally located on the inside of the external walls. It essentially acts like an Esky as we noticed during the summer months. See the inside of the garage to see what the panels look like unfinished. The presentation running in the TV room will show what it looks like to build. The roof lining has R2.5 anticon and ceiling R3.5 insulation batts.


The inclusion of both C Bus operated mechanical louvres to the external and internal gallery to the highlight windows means that the slightest summer breeze will be magnified. In addition you will notice louvres over the internal door transoms, to maximise cross flow ventilation in each of the bedrooms. In the absence of any breeze, overhead fans are located in each room. We expect that we will not need to turn the air con on during summer.

Solar PV and Infrastructure for Future Wind Turbines

A 2kw solar PV system should be almost enough to make the house carbon positive (produce more energy than it uses) particularly in the summer months. The infrastructure for a silent wind turbine installation has been allowed for in the future to augment active power production. Solar hot water is built in. All electrical appliances were chosen for their water and energy efficiency.


We have used C Bus controlled Brightgreen LED lighting. The 16W LED,s are equivalent to 50w halogens and they don’t blow out!

Water Efficiency

Two 5000 litre underground garantia rainwater tanks installed under the garage , harvest rainwater from the south pavilion and garage roof for feed in to toilets, laundry and reticulation system . The north pavilion is also plumbed to collect all the roof water for future tanks in the lower level. A greywater system has also been installed for the future installation of a greywater collection box as the lower level gardens are planted. All taps and showerheads were chosen for water efficiency.


APACE designed waterwise gardens using various native species. A vegetable garden zone will be established at the lower end of the site very soon.

Universal Design

You will notice that there are no steps from the street and right through into the top level. A ramp on the east side also allows wheel-chair access to the lower level granny flat which is also designed for aged and disability access.

Seven Steps to Sustainability
A registered builder with a Waterwise award