Sexton House

House for John Sexton at


Emilis Prelgauskas - design elements stone veneer, climate response design elements, upper floor loft, solar hot water, rainwater, provision for solar photovoltaic power system grid connect


Adelaide Hills real estate operator John Sexton includes energy efficiency issues in his discussions with customers looking at existing buildngs for sale.

For himself, he is developing a new home with these features. An overall strategy for the home for development in stages has been developed for the land, which is positioned on the rising landform behind Littlehampton township. Stage 1 of this development now built contains the following elements: - the house site is a level platform with its length aligned angled in relation to solar orientation - the house design therefore has a footprint in line with the land, but with the roof seated at 45 degrees to the floor plan, so that the principal roof pitch surface faces north - the approach access toward the house is up a steep driveway from below approaching from the west - the main view of the house therefore is from that position (to photo) - the house floor plan and roof therefore coalesce in an end dutch gable with loft window facing the approach - the steep roof pitches suit both the area's high rainfall off-flow, and photovoltaic panel positioning on the side roof face to the vertical inclination suited for the location. The consistency of external appearance for the design was also highly valued, leading to the use of stone veneer external walling complete with dressed stone lintels, as well as the matched house and verandah roof pitches. The verandahs shield this external skin from both direct solar heat gain and winter driving rain. The adverse impact of the external thermal mass in the external veneer is thereby mitigated. The building footprint includes private space, facilities, office, and an open plan kitchen, dining, living with substantial upper loft area with cathedral ceiling. The stair descends alongside the full height stone inner wall. The building is timber framed with its wall, roof and ceiling voids insulated. The internal stone wall is also adjacent to the wood heater, and with the concrete ground floor slab provides adequate thermal mass to retain internal space warming and accept the solar warming from direct sun coming in through north-east windows.

  • The roof drains to rainwater tanks already served by the existing shed on-site. This provides all building water supply. Wastewaters go to septic disposal. Mains power already connects to site and the building. Verandah space recess and north roof surface are ready wired for photovoltaic modules,UPS and grid connect inverter.
The resultant building adds to the previous stream of such buildings from this practice, notably the Finnis and Sevenhill projects. Future stages to this project allow for expanded accommodation along the building bench to integrate with this Stage 1 portion.

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