The subject of this website is the house above with 48 solar panels on roof

Eco Designed - Solar powered house for the future

This series of web pages provides detailed information and photos of a solar efficient, low-energy house that ensures low maintenance, low operational cost and future-proofed design. The principle design features promotes a very healthy, comfortable and relaxing lifestyle for the occupants.

This energy-efficient house embodies simple, established principles strictly based on passive solar design, sustainable criteria and ecologically friendly features to ensure comfort day round and year round. Design elements ensure efficient, passive, automatic heating and cooling by natural, free means and makes the best possible use of sun, wind, shade and site orientation factors.

Linked pages on this site present a gallery of photos, design criteria and technical information along with other relevant information chosen to illustrate the concepts behind the project.

Over three years of design effort by a gifted Architect and a passionate, technically qualified owner has produced a beautiful, low maintenance home that will never date due to simple but effective space, form and function. The passive solar design principles are based on thousands of years of human home building experience and evidence - which shows our forbears certainly knew a lot that we, and in particular Developers, often disregard due to fashion.

This ultra-modern house has been specifically designed and oriented for the latitude and prevailing temperature ranges and weather of Bribie Island - a very important and targeted aspect of passive solar design. Other design inclusions have ensured the house operating and infrastructure systems have been future-proofed to not only take advantage of forthcoming 'time-of-use' electricity tariffs, but they will effectively reduce, if not eliminate, any future onerous electricity and water charges. In addition, the house has huge, integrated battery-backup facilities to ensure seamless prevention of electrical brownouts and blackouts, and provides flexibility for the owner to not only choose the most economical way to power the house, but even provides the option of completely going 'off-grid' if desired.

The house is situated on a large block (1200 sq metres) that will never flood or suffer from heavy precipitation. The block is situated in a quiet cul-de-sac in the prestigious Banksia Beach area on Bribie Island, a small island (connected by bridge to the mainland) 50 kM north of Brisbane, Qld, Australia. Brisbane CBD and the Brisbane International Airport are within easy commuting distance - approximately one hour away.

Bribie Island and the nearby waterways are protected by Environmental, National and Marine Parks, with 86% of the total land area prescribed National Park that will ensure the natural beauty and serenity will remain for future generations to enjoy. For home owners, this means Bribie Island will remain a desirable, low density populated environment as there is a natural cap on development.

Bribie Island has a sub-tropical coastal environment with a moderate to warm temperature range, a generally dry winter and a wonderful mild summer blessed with cool ocean breezes.

We trust you find the content in this website informative, helpful and inspiring and that you gain an understanding of the design principles which we believe are essential for a most comfortable lifestyle. We would like to add that we no longer live in this house due to our re-location to far north Queensland to pursue new interests.

Fred & Jeanette Birkbeck


Note: Banner at top of page displays an aerial photograph of our passive solar house overlooking a deep-water canal that has direct access to the Pacific Ocean.