Solar-powered home puts an eco-friendly twist on the farmhouse vernacular

wood farmhouse with gabled roofs

When architect Paul O’Reilly of the Australian architectural
practice archterra was
asked by his mother to design a modern farmhouse, he delivered a
handsome dwelling that not only takes inspiration from traditional
barn architecture, but also deftly addresses the region’s
climatic extremes with its site-specific, energy-efficient

farmhouse with timber siding

Aptly named the Farm House, the roughly 2,000-square-foot abode
features a gabled roofline, a veranda and timber cladding to mimic
traditional barns, while the interior is decidedly contemporary and
dressed in natural materials, including rammed earth and oiled
timber cladding. Moreover, the home is energy-efficient,
taking cues from passive solar principles and drawing power from a
2.5-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array.

gabled farmhouse with solar panels

wooden wall with wood cubbies

Located on a grassy paddock on a working cattle farm near
Margaret River, the Farm House is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom abode
that places the sleeping areas toward the south and the open-plan living areas to
the north. Large outdoor decks open off of the two bedrooms and the
living area toward the east.

kitchen with dark wood cabinets and white countertops

person walking inside a bedroom from outdoor porch

“Primary outlook across paddocks to the east and a need to
maintain a passive solar
orientation to the north generated a T-shaped plan response with
the living pavilion orientated to the north, whilst the sleeping
areas align east-west,” explained the architecture firm.
“Morning sun is moderated on the sleeping pavilion by the
traditional veranda to the east whilst a thick rammed earth wall to
the west ensures the thermal lag effect of the earth wall keeps
internal spaces cool into the early evening.”

Related: Solar-powered Bush House exemplifies chic eco-friendly
living in the Australian outback

garden filled with colorful flowers

farmhouse with gray timber siding and gabled roof

The home’s passive solar orientation mitigates unwanted heat
gain and permits cooling cross breezes to flow through the home
from all directions. In addition to the thermally efficient
envelope, the energy efficiency of the Farm House is bolstered by
the addition of an evacuated tube solar hot water heater, a solar
photovoltaic array, rainwater
 and wastewater treatment systems. Recycled timber
and bricks lower the embodied energy of the project as well.

+ archterra

Photography by Douglas Mark Black via archterra

trees in foreground and timber farmhouse in background

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
Solar-powered home puts an eco-friendly twist on the farmhouse vernacular