A self-sufficient Country Retreat

This new house in Kilmore is an exciting new project for us – our first ‘off-grid’ house.

Our clients approached us to build them a new house on a stunning hilltop site in country Victoria. They wanted a house that would leave a tiny footprint – both physically and environmentally – whilst making the most of breath-taking surrounds.

The result is this: A 100m2 retreat with one bedroom, one bathroom, and an open plan kitchen, living and dining room, clad in timber that will silver with the seasons and blend in to the spectacular surrounds. The floor plan is arranged so that each room looks out over its own private view.

The most integral part of the brief was ensuring the house was sustainable to run and comfortable to live in. Given that the site had no access to water, gas or electricity, careful consideration was given to making the house as energy efficient as it could be.


There is a large emphasis on passive design – Many of the passive design elements of the house were informed by old farmhouses. Deep eaves control the amount of sun that hits the façade, maximising passive solar gain in winter whilst blocking out the hot summer sun. Inside, cosy spaces are carefully arranged to make full use of the heat drawn from the wood-fire heater.

There is also a requirement for active energy production – solar panels and battery storage to collect enough power on any given day to get the occupants through the night. All water consumed on site is to be collected from the roof.

Construction is commencing in 2017 and due to be completed in 2018.