Our Solaris Sustainable Home


Wellington Point, 25 km East /South-East of Brisbane, Queensland on the edge of Moreton Bay (Redlands Shire).


Climate (Data from Bureau of Meteorology – Ormiston Recording Station)

Sub-tropical – moderated by the influence of Moreton Bay. Cool dry winter with clear skies – good of passive solar gain. Summer is warm and humid with occasional hot days.

Mean Annual Maximum Temp. – 24.2C

Mean Annual Minimum Temp. – 13.2C

Mean Annual Diurnal Range – 11C

Annual Rainfall – 1300mm

House Description

This house is an example of a retrofitted, 30 year old, brick veneer/timber home.  It was designed by an architect as a passive solar home.

Solar Passive Design Features

  • Slab on ground construction – dark slate good for solar gain in winter, shaded in summer for coolness.
  • Living areas to the north and north-east.
  • Light coloured roof with fibreglass/reflective foil insulation blanket R2.5
  • Open plan living area for good cross-ventilation
  • North facing clerestorey for winter solar gain to southern areas and natural lighting
  • Roller shutter insulation and natural light control over clerestorey
  • Reflective foil insulation added to some wall areas


Other Features

  • Very low electrical energy consumption of 3.6 kWh/day through energy efficient lighting and appliances and careful management.
  • 1.36 kW (Peak) grid interactive photovoltaic (PV) power system generates 5.4 kWh/day (140% of electricity demand) from 16 x 85W BP Solarex PV Panels.
  • Net exporter of energy ( 2 – 3 kWh/day) to Electricity Retailer.
  • 180 Litre Solahart solar hot water system with LPG boosting. Model BC12 (Black Chrome Selective surface collector) – Annual Solar Contribution on average 92%
  • 18,000 Litre Duraplas rain water system with pressure pump connected in parallel to mains water supply – automatic change over to mains if tank gets too low.  Rain water is used for everything including drinking.  Annual Rain Contribution – 80 to 90%
  • Grey water recycling from a sink / washing machine through diverter valves.



This is a comfortable house to live in. The benefits of passive solar design are felt most during extreme weather conditions. The highest external temperatures recorded in the past 4 years have reach 40C while inside temperatures peaked at 31C. For most of summer, internal temperatures range from 22 to 28C.  Very high efficiency fans are the only forced cooling required and then only during the hottest days. In winter, the coldest external temperature recorded is 5C while the internal temperature fell to a minimum of about 16C. Most of the time in winter, the internal temperature are 18 to 21C.




House from NE showing 1.36kW PV array and Solar Hot Water System and Clerestorey Roller Shutter.



Kitchen with Natural Oiled Timber Finish and Low VOC paints



Living Area to the North



Insulating Cellular Blinds



SE Rain Water Tank plus Rain Heads and First Flush Diverters



NW Rain Water Tank plus Rain Heads and First Flush Diverter



Pump House and Gravel Paths for Water Absorption



Pressure Pump with Water Meter for Rain Water Tanks