Shepherd's Ground House #2:

Wonnarua Country
Gavin, Suzannah + 2 teenagers

Choosing a site on the North-West corner of the Eco-community at Shepherd’s Ground gave this family beautiful, uninterrupted views out over the nearby dam and valley. Gavin and Suzannah selected one of the designs from Greg Burgess’ original masterplan and we tweaked the design to suit the sloping site, incorporating a multi-use space under the house. 

The home has Australian hardwood feature timbers with hemp walls and recycled timber windows and doors. Internally the house has an open plan kitchen/living dining space with 2 bedrooms at each end. A verandah on the North facing facade provides shade and space to admire the veggie gardens below. The ceiling follows the skillion roof inside which makes the modest spaces seem expansive with highlight louvre windows on the North to let sun in during winter and let heat escape in summer. Gavin and Suzannah’s house looks like most homes inside with painted timber wall cladding and a modern kitchen. The only hint of the hemp is found once you walk in the door to a comfortable, quiet space. 

Rainwater tanks store water captured by the iron roof and solar panels capture sunlight, stored in an off-grid battery set up. The house has a composting toilet and the remaining grey water is connected to the community’s wastewater treatment plant. Air-conditioning is used in peak summer when the solar power is in excess and a wood heater keeps the place warm in winter. 

Gavin and Suzannah were able to stick to their budget throughout most of the build, with only the earthworks costing more than expected. But the space created under the house has already been well used as a community workshop area.

To learn more about the sustainable features of this home and to look at plans, become a member of our community.