From the architect:
At this year's BDA National Design Awards, the Mudgee Hempcrete House won the prestigious Paul Dass Memorial Prize, took out the Best Residential Building (251-350sqm and over $2000/sqm category) and won a commendation from Bluescope Steel for best use of steel.
This elongated home capitalises on its position, elevated above an infrequent creek with views across the landscape. One of few clearings on a property that typifies the gentle slopes of the Mudgee area with creek flats below.
The entry to the home leads you along a sweeping driveway past the utilitarian shed that accommodates the large photovoltaic system. Arriving at the back of the home you enter through the carport - no formalities here.
The long plan of the home provides maximum northern solar exposure to warm the home during the cold winters, generous overhangs provide the shading required of an area that can frequently top 40°C. A retractable awning over the northern deck gives the flexibility to provide sun or shade as desired during the shoulder seasons. A slow combustion wood heater is the only form of additional heating within the home.
The rope and pulley operated fire shutters that shield the exposed western end of the building are a sensible bushfire precaution. They double as solar shading to the western glazing and if closed at night provide protection in addition to that of the thermally improved aluminium frames and double-glazing. The Hempcrete walls give an insulation R-value of 4.3 from a locally grown resource that is carbon positive when installed and is breathable, therefore avoiding potential condensation issues.