A Sustainable Response to Beachside Living

In a decade shaped by climate awareness, new home design has moved beyond the pursuit of sheer aesthetic brilliance, with each new project presenting architects with an opportunity to set new standards when it comes to sustainable living practices. A task the team at Rachcoff Vella Architecture seem adept at tackling.

The firm’s 2020 project, Silver Linings, is a testament to the possibilities of sustainable living, conceived through the decision to only use select few raw and robust materials, to prioritise handcrafted design and at its essence, remain faithful to minimalist design principles. The resulting home is a stunning Brutalist-style abode, nestled amongst the sandy dunes of Bayside Melbourne.

Designed utilising a combination of fundamental passive design principles combined with technology to promote automation of services, Silver Linings boasts impressive sustainability credentials, including an 8.2-star energy rating. Clever tricks of the trade have been implemented throughout the home, from the use of eco-friendly materials such as recycled timber, natural stone, and low-VOC paints, to the inclusion of solar panels and battery storage systems. Heavily insulated walls, floors and ceilings add to energy performance. While the home’s roof garden has a soil mass offering further insulation.

At the heart of the home is the built-in Stûv 21 fireplace, which perfectly embodies the project’s focus on energy efficiency and passive home design.

This particular fireplace is more than just a stylish addition to the home’s aesthetic. It is an innovative heating solution that significantly reduces the amount of energy required to keep the home warm. In a league of its own, the Stûv 21 features a unique combustion system that burns wood cleanly and efficiently, minimising emissions while maximising heat output. The fireplace’s design also ensures that heat is distributed evenly throughout the home, eliminating cold spots and reducing the need for additional heating sources.

The result is a home that is both stunning and sustainable, perfectly balancing form and function. The attention to detail and emphasis on sustainability are evident in every aspect of the project, from the carefully chosen materials to the innovative heating system.

For those seeking inspiration for sustainable home design, Rachcoff Vella Architecture’s Silver Linings masterfully showcases the possibilities of passive home design and energy efficiency, with the Stûv 21 fireplace a key element in this success. By combining innovation and sustainability, Silver Linings serves as a model for the future of sustainable architecture.