Award-winning Eco Lodge, located in the Australian bushland, follows the latest interior design trends, featuring eco-friendly products, natural materials and energy efficiency measures.
The project, created by award-winning interior design practice Hare + Klein, was recently honoured with an Australian Living Green Interior Award for its use of local and recycled materials and renewable technology.
Located on a five-acre property the coastal village of Coledale, the project makes the most of local and recycled wood, creating a raw and natural aesthetic that perfectly reflects the surrounding bush landscape.
Inside the house, furniture is made from minimally treated willow and silver birch, including tables and chairs. The kitchen and living room furniture was made by local GECA-rated furniture makers using local timber and recycled materials. The GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) ecolabel shows that a product or service has been rigorously assessed for its environmental impact over its life cycle.
The timber within the house is either recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, and the central staircase features a timber balustrade ‘woven’ from reclaimed Australian hardwoods. Tasmanian oak veneer finished with non-toxic plant-based oils was used throughout the interior for shelving and joinery.
Natural ventilation, double-glazed windows and solar shading are an effective energy saver. In summer, these measures cut the amount of heat entering the house and in winter they decrease heat loss, reducing the need for additional climate control measures. Combining the heat extraction system and geothermal heating, the designers eliminated the need for air-conditioning.
The under-floor geothermal heating system uses the heat from the earth to warm the air inside the house. Approximately three metres below ground, the temperature remains relatively constant at around 10⁰C. Energy from the ground can be used by a heat pump to provide useful energy to heat the home.
Wood-burning fireplaces help to maintain the ambient temperature throughout the year without the use of fossil fuels. The geothermal system can be also connected to a suitable high performance hot water cylinder for domestic hot water.
To reduce lighting energy consumption, the designers choose LED lamps and T5 fluorescent lamps, that can save up to 80 per cent in energy, and fewer light fittings were required as wall uplighters were strategically placed to illuminate the walls and reflect light off the ceilings.
In addition to its energy efficient features, the modern house has been designed to be functional, creating a perfect connection between public and private living spaces and emphasizing the relationship of the interiors with the exteriors, allowing the surrounding landscape to become part of the sustainable interior design.
The project has been shortlisted in The Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2014 Sustainable Project category. The winners will be announced at the IDEA Gala Party in November.