The Haven 2 is an affordable, sustainable home built specifically for its tropical environment and to minimise running costs, with the brief asking for no fuel bills.

Keen to make the initiatives included as accessible to clients as possible so as not to alienate the project home market, Kenick Constructions designed the house to stay naturally cool and comfortable in its lush tropical setting in Cairns.

The clients do not have to rely on air-conditioning that the majority of homes in the area have, and at a build cost of $265,000, this four bedroom (or three bedroom and separate media room), two bathroom dwelling has a 9.5 star energy rating, many water saving features and minimal harmful chemicals.

The home’s carbon footprint is further reduced with the utilisation of waste management and recycled content products.

Key initiatives:

  • 9.5 Star energy rating although site had less than perfect orientation
  • No fuel bills – client actually receives a rebate from Ergon each quarter; 3kW solar PV with kW inverter
  • Highly energy efficient and insulated lightweight structure keeps cool in summer
  • Passive design: louvres throughout, maximising cool breezes and minimising solar gain by orientation and window/door placement, wide 850mm eaves, ventilated roof space, light colours, zoned interior spaces, large fans, thermal mass of slab to regulate internal temperature, high ceilings and internal doorways to improve air circulation, natural shading using planted pergola
  • LED lights throughout
  • Solar hot water
  • Rainwater tank plumbed to WC, outside tap and laundry
  • No VOC paint
  • E0 cabinetry (no formaldehyde)
  • Metal recycled during construction
  • Earthwool insulation formaldehyde free (uses Ecose binders), not bleached and recycled content
  • Native planting, veggie patch, pond in garden
  • Home designed to be fully accessible: no threshold to front step or patio, wider internal doors, ply to walls around WC/showers/bath, hobless shower, higher sockets, lower switches, WC door opens outwards

Photography by Kenick Constructions