SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

Today we look at the first stop of the Solar Dwellings Sustainable House Day bus tour (Casa Nostra), and the last (Green Swing).

Casa Nostra

If grand and imposing are on your wish-list for a house, then Casa Nostra will not disappoint. And with a 9 star Nathers energy efficiency rating, Casa Nostra ticks a lot of sustainability boxes. If you missed out on seeing this for Sustainable House Day, you have another chance to see it during Open House Perth on 7-8th November 2015.

Casa Nostra is actually 2 townhouses side by side, designed and built by architects Di Lanzo & Partner. The husband and wife team live in one half of the building (on the left) and the other half is being prepped for sale.  

Possibly the most striking feature is the jarrah, salvaged from the block’s original timber-framed cottage, which has been cleverly reused for cladding, floor parquetry, and stair treads. 

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

It’s such a stunning feature of this house and provides a good dose of wow factor the moment you see it. It was also used on the balcony as part of the window seat surrounds. 

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

Upon entering the house, the first thing you see is the sophisticated and modern kitchen, with a polished concrete floor. It was all very new and shiny, with handleless drawers and stone benchtop.

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

Unfortunately, as the house was still basically under construction, we weren’t allowed to go upstairs to have a look at the rooftop terrace, which would have been awesome. But the view up the stairs was quite nice. Love that pendant!

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

Sustainability Summary

  • NatHERS 9 stars
  • Disability access, multi-generational, universal design
  • Structural insulated panels
  • Recycled timber
  • Low-e film on windows
  • Hydronic heating
  • R4 ceiling wool batts
  • R2.4 rigid phenolic wall panels

 

Green Swing

The goal of the Green Swing project was to create affordable medium density housing in an inner city area with a primary focus on sustainability. The development consists of 2 townhouses and 2 apartments, and the design achieved energy ratings of between 8-10 stars for each dwelling. 

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

The project used different construction methods for each dwelling: reverse brick veneer in one of the town houses (at the rear); strawbale in the second townhouse (front left house, shown below); and double brick for the two apartments (the building on the right). The 2 storey townhouse in reverse brick veneer achieved 10 stars, with the strawbale house achieving 9 stars. The curved walls of the strawbale house looked quite exotic.

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

A couple of cute asides: the gardens were of course beautiful at this time of the year.

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

And I loved this little pond setup outside the strawbale house.

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

Back to the point, I spent most of my time in the rear house, which achieved 10 stars. The level of finish in this house was incredible – take a look at the stunning granite tiles below. Proving that granite isn’t just for grown-ups, this room was filled with a multitude of children’s toys.

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

The other cool feature of this house was the attic. I’d never seen a real-life attic before, and seeing as we are planning on having one in our new house, I thought I’d better climb up and have a look. It took me a couple of attempts, as I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my unwieldy camera baggage, but managed to figure it out. The ladder was just a little bit rickety, which made me realise what a wuss I’m turning into as I get older. Better nip that in the bud. (Still, we might want to consider a less wobbly ladder.)

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

Possibly my favourite part was the gorgeous little shed out the back. 

SHD Tour: Casa Nostra and Green Swing

This is so cute. I’ve seen some similar pre-made ones at Bunnings similar in style, but I still like the idea of building one myself from recycled timber.

Sustainability Summary

  • BERS 9 stars
  • Adaptive design
  • Lightweight construction, brick veneer, strawbale
  • Recycled bricks, aggregate, timber, doors, paving, insulation, cabinets, hessian bags as ceiling lining in attic
  • Low VOC paint
  • Double glazing
  • Solar PV grid connected
  • Flat panel solar hot water
  • R2.5 ceiling insulation (green stuff)
  • R2.5-R6 wall insulation (gree stuff and straw)
  • 4500L water tank
  • Waterwise, organic, edible, composting garden
  • Not connected to gas

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