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8.3 star, off-grid studio

8.3 star, off-grid studio

8.3 Star Rated Studio 100% off the Grid

Building Designer: Smart SIPs

Shop Drawings: Smart SIPS

Star Rating: 8.3

Design Brief

The owner’s brief was for a 100% off the grid artist’s studio with the “wow factor” a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) of 29 (moderately high-risk).

Design Challenge

This block presented a challenge being that it was atop a hill in a very exposed part of Victoria. There was also a substantial layer of rock in the foundation area.  

The owners required a wheelchair accessible home, including the first-floor balcony. 

We wanted to maintain sight of the major views that were to the west and south of the block, but being a 100% off the grid build required a design concept that maximised the Solar Passive Design approach for the home,


Design Approach 

We approached the design of this unique project with a visually stunning yet simple to build construction that maximised the sun’s heat in winter and controlled the heat in summer.

As the studio is located at the top of a hill and we needed to find an all-weather, wheelchair friendly access while considering the potential fire risk posed to the occupants, we took the unusual approach of designing a full basement in Country Victoria. 

This is no ordinary basement - it’s a fully drive throughable basement providing easy entry and exit. To make the studio accessible, we included a vacuum lift in the basement to provide access to all levels. 

Our design team at Smart SIPs utilised our proven design approach of a 100% electric building that is thermally efficient, meeting the owner’s design brief.

We achieved the design challenge through the use of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for the External Envelope - the walls, floor, and roof. 

The use of passive rated UPVC double glazed windows with a U Value of 1.8 and window shading to the east, north, and west windows greatly contributed to the 8.3 Energy Star Rating. It also allowed the building’s 10KW PV solar system to produce enough power to charge up the backup battery system and operate the studio year round. 

The drive through basement also has a bushfire bunker built within it to provide shelter should a bushfire happen.

Design Outcome 

The final design provides for a simple-to-construct studio with a striking appearance that is fully BAL 29 compliant, wheelchair accessible, contains a bushfire shelter within the accessible basement and is 100% off-grid.

Ready to build a sustainable, cost-effective SIPs home?

Contact us today for an obligation-free, ballpark quote.

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