According to a recent nationwide study conducted by RACV, two-thirds of Australians are struggling to pay their energy bills. To cover rising energy costs, the majority of responders noted they have cut back spending on clothes, groceries, dining out, weekends away and entertainment.
For RACV and architect Peter Maddison, this challenge has inspired a unique creative response – this distinctive yellow-and-black compact home (are we dealing with another case of sports-fan architects here?).
Together, the organisation and Grand Designs Australia host have put forward their RAVC Tiny Home prototype. ‘We are going to extreme measures to save money on energy bills – but it’s ineffective,’ tells Peter. ‘We need to address design, which is why we’ve built the RACV Tiny Home for people, to show how they can bring simple principles into their own homes.’
He sees this pint-sized dwelling as ‘an exemplar for passive design’. It is orientated to follow north-south, east-west axis, allowing for solar panels on the northern facade for maximum solar gain. Part of the building’s northern wall also folds out to become an outside deck. ‘Again, there is an opportunity for living on the north side of the house,’ adds Peter, ‘and also having the ability to capture all the lovely warm northern sun in a controlled way, entering the house and having it be more liveable’.
The architect also highlights the benefits of quality windows and dynamic insulation materials (and if you’re not designing a home from scratch, he recommends curtains, external shading systems, and even door ‘snakes’!).
The RACV Tiny Home will be launching and on display to the public as part of Open House Melbourne from tomorrow (July 28th-29th) before it starts its tour around regional parts of Victoria.