A Bridge Over Water That's Actually A Home: The Bridge Eco House

A Bridge Over Water That's Actually A Home: The Bridge Eco House

Here's an incredible sustainable home built in Adelaide, Australia designed by Max Pritchard Architect. The clients wanted a permanent home and office combo on their small property which is one hour away from Adelaide. On the property, there's a creek that makes a billabong which is a deep waterhole. So they wanted to preserve the land without taking too much away from its natural beauty while staying within a budget of $220,000 AUD. From that criteria came a surprisingly unique home design of a bridge home extended over the gap of above the water, creating a bridge home, hence why it's now called The Bridge House. The narrow home is over the creek giving the owners a home that feels like it's immersed in nature. What a beautiful place this would be to live and work from every day. It almost looks like a train going over a bridge, but it's their home and is held up by two steel trusses that were created off-site and then assemble on site in two days by two men and a crane. They anchored the trusses with four small concrete piers that were poured on both sides if the creek. Then, on top of the trusses is a concrete floor slab built on steel decking with rigid insulation. The walls and the roof are made with plantation pine.

The house may appear small, but it's 110 square meters or 1,184 square feet in total which is a pretty decent size. The couple living in the home has found that it works really well for the two of them for both work and living. The efficient plan limits their footprint making it eco-friendly and cost-effective. Other ways they kept the design eco-friendly and economical was to bring in some passive solar design elements. For wintertime, the length of the house faces north and south which means that the sun which is lower in the winter heats the black insulated concrete flooring. The flooring stores the heat and radiates it throughout the day and night. They also have a wood combustion heater too which they use sustainably grown and harvested wood from their land to fuel. In the summertime, cooling is achieved with the steel screens that shade the windows; they also have windows and fans throughout the home built into the design to take advantage of cross breezes which means they don't even need air conditioning.

They used locally sourced, sustainable materials, recycled materials, easily installable materials to reduce the use of machinery and they also tried to produce the least amount of waste possible. Rainwater is collected from the roof and wastewater is pumped out away from the creek treated before being released underground. This method reduces pollution keeping the creek on the land clean and safe. For Electricity, they used Photovoltaic cells which power the entire home, and there is still excess power to return to the grid. For Hot Water, they implemented Solar hot water panels on the roof. It's great to see more homes like this one being built on a regular basis, and it also shows us that it's possible the build an eco-friendly home on a budget. Buying a prefab home is another great way to keep costs low, and there are more and more eco-friendly options from prefab home builders. You can even make your present home more eco-friendly by adding in solar panels or even a composting toilet, LED lighting or more efficient appliances. Using less energy is the way of the future, and that doesn't mean we have to leave beautiful home design behind either.

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More about this story can be found at: Max Pritchard Architect

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