Blue Mountains Off the Grid

Nestled in Sydney’s dense Blue Mountains bushland, Off Grid House acts as a premium benchmark for sustainable living under extreme conditions while coexisting with nature. The modest, highly durable home is net zero emissions and BAL-FZ rated; self-sufficient in power, water and sewage. The distinctive architectural form is a contemporary twist on the typical elongated passive-designed dwelling, unifying two skillion roofs of opposing slopes to optimise solar energy generation for electricity as well as passive heating and cooling for thermal comfort, bolstered by high levels of insulation and air tightness, an HRV, external shading and double glazing. Trees cleared to adhere to bushfire safety requirements have been reused within the home, showcased most noticeably through joinery.
This environmentally and ecologically considerate design celebrates Australia’s great outdoors, providing an oasis connected to nature as well as a safe haven when protection is required; testament to sensitive, innovative and sustainable architectural practices meticulously executed by Sydney based Anderson Architecture.
The primary challenge – and appeal – of the project was the remote location engulfed by dense bushland. The site was deemed BAL-FZ (Flame Zone), which is the highest rating of bushfire risk in Australia, and with lacking access to services, safety and technology were crucial. Additionally, paramount to Anderson Architecture’s practice is providing sustainable architecture, from procurement through to post occupancy. As such, the main challenges were linked to balancing the design objectives with the stringent building codes to ensure a low cost, bushfire-resistant home, which retained as much of the surrounding bushland as possible.
The result was the creation of a modest yet highly durable home, designed to withstand extreme conditions and the test of time.

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