Award-winning off-grid solar+battery storage home… for less than $300,000

The developer of an off-grid, solar-plus-battery powered, 8-star energy rated new-build home in Trentham, Victoria, has taken out the award for Energy Efficiency at the HIA Greensmart Awards in Melbourne.
The two bedroom, two bathroom house by Ecoliv Sustainable Buildings is powered by a 2.3kW solar PV system – ground mounted away from the house for ease of access in the future – with 12 deep cycle batteries housed in a detatched shed providing “ample” back-up power storage for the stand alone system, according to the house’s designer and director of Ecoliv Buildings, Ashley Beaumont.
The house also has an evacuated tube solar hot water system.
Beaumont told One Step Off the Grid that the house’s owner, who had experience in the sustainability sector, calculated the house’s solar plus battery storage needs himself, based on the house’s new and highly efficient appliances and LED lighting, insulation and solar gain.
“The house’s low energy usage means it can be specified with a smaller battery,” Beaumont said. (The exact size of the batteries is to be confirmed.)
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Like all of Ecoliv’s modular homes, the Trentham house was built in the factory, but in this case its two modular units were delivered onto a concrete slab, rather than using the standard timber subfloor construction.
Along with the thermal mass the concrete slab will provide, the single story home also uses passive solar design to maximise its thermal efficiency – removing the need for central heating and cooling. The house has a wood-fired heater and ceiling fans.
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The HIA Greensmart Energy Efficiency Award is the second award the Trentham home has won – and the 11th for Ecoliv Buildings’ prefabricated modular home designs. It was also recognised by BDAV for best residential design under $300k construction cost in July this year.
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The house also features a wireless energy usage interface for its residents to monitor how much electricity that they have used – or how much a certain appliance is using – and how much is stored in the batteries.
“We’re thrilled to add another award to our trophy cabinet,” said Beaumont about the HIA award. “We truly believe that sustainability and energy efficiency are attainable and affordable for any new build. A small amount of effort can go a long way in creating an efficient and environmentally friendly home,” he said.

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