Location: 	Kuipto, South Australia 
Date completed: 2000
Architect: 	Emilis Prelgauskas 
Builder: 	owner built 
Owner:		Dr. David Easterbrook 
Size:		230m2 
Climate:	dry temperate

Emilis Prelgauskas - design elements solar hws, wind turbine, rain water, wood space heat, full self sufficiency, subsidence tower, greywater re-use, Hebel, conservatory


The "Davelea" property comprises about 11 ha of the last remnant native bushland in the Kuitpo locality.

Kuitpo is situated in the Adelaide Hills, about 40km south-east of the city centre, and within direct access to the southern suburbs due west.

The Easterbrook family have owned the land for a decade, undertaking landcare, weed eradication and bushfire mitigation work on the land.
Living on the land will maximise the effect of those tasks, and secure the family lifestyle.

The development of a residence on the land focusses on:

  • minimising intrusion of the building construction on the land
  • minimising impact of building occupation including wastes onto the land
  • maximise self sufficiency and building energy efficiency and autonomous operation

The finalised design is for a house comprising:-

  • layout maximising the land slope with a small lower floor set into the slope
  • the main floor with access on grade
  • a small upper loft and
  • the subsidence tower in the spiral stair tower.

The lower floor has access to ground on its northern side, with conservatory glazing. The glazed area forms:-

  • a winter warming space where warmth is flued up the open stair to the main floor
  • in summer venting of the conservatory draws warm air outward, encouraging throughflow of the cooled air from the subsidence tower

The main floor has a northern open deck. The veranda there shades the main living area and main bedroom glazing from direct summer sun ingress.
The floor accommodates garage, laundry, living and bedrooms with facilities.
In winter the wood stove warms the spaces. The warmth is distributed by ceiling fans and a 'heat shifter' in the ceiling space with outlets in each bedroom.

The upper loft is an open mezzanine to the 2 storey high living area with its exposed timber rafters and beams.
The loft extends to an outdoor south facing deck.

The subsidence tower seats on top of the spiral stair to the loft from the living area below, and aligned with the stair down to lower floor to maximise building wide cross ventilation.

The building is served by a 1.5kW wind turbine west of the building. The wind turbine tower is 20 metres high to stand the generator well above tree canopy line.

The power is held in a 48V DC 1100ah battery bank, with 6V DC, 12V DC, and 240V AC circuits reticulated.

Rainwater is stored and reticulated.
Hot water is generated by solar panels with gas and wood stove back ups. Waste is split to septic disposed below ground and sullage treated in reed bed and re-used.

The building structure is a steel frame, with aerated autoclave concrete wall infill, insulated steel roof decks, concrete floors.