South-east of Melbourne located in Prom Country Victoria, an off-the-grid inspired dwelling was recently designed and installed by sustainable module architecture company, Archiblox, with the goal of reconnecting owners, Simone and Dave, to nature and inviting in a more authentic way of living. And the Archiblox oasis at Fish Creek is more than a weekend retreat; Simone and Dave inspired by permaculture, are working towards a life living off the land, to minimise their carbon footprint and improve their overall way of life.
Permaculture –put simply, is a garden intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient. Just like Archiblox, permaculture is all about mindful design, energy-efficiency and minimal impact on the environment. The slightly cooler climate of Fish Creek and sun protection provided by the building structure itself, is ideal for Simone and Dave’s edible ecosystem – and what they can’t grow themselves, they’ve been able to source locally.
But the mindful environmental properties doesn’t just stop at the garden; The Fish Creek modular home is sustainable, inside and out.
The three-bedroom home is separated into two modules; sleeping and living. The sleeping module is nestled against a forest verge, oriented north-west, it provides protection from the prevailing south-westerlies. The main bedroom has a skylight positioned above the bed, drawing the night sky in, connecting the space to nature and inviting natural light. Cavity sliders join modules to enclose and minimise heat loss during winter, saving power, and acting as noise barriers between living and sleeping.
The glazed walls within the main living module allow the couple to immerse themselves in their rural surroundings, creating a bright and open atmosphere, with framed views of the paddocks and sea. Positioned towards the north, raked ceilings and highlight windows draw-in natural light into the living, kitchen and dining spaces, while eaves and awnings block the harshest summer sun.
The orientation of the block captures the sunrise, and moonrise over the water and is designed to maximise enjoyment of the property. The expansive decks utilise the northern orientation, and a single private deck to the south has the ultimate outdoor bath with a full view of the bush.
Archiblox Director Bill McCorkell says there is a need for sustainable buildings, because they lead to healthy living.
“We believe we can create a platform for a better life and unify an authentic way of living. Our philosophy centres on refining a house of ultimate sustainability and innovative thinking for smarter homes in the Australian climate, mindfully designed and built for less impact on our planet and for your pocket. Because we believe great design shouldn’t be a privilege, but a pleasure for everyone to enjoy” says Bill.
The CO2 emissions saved from the Solar Power PV system installed approximately three months ago equate to the planting of 8 new trees. The property is fitted with 2x Rainwater tanks, septic tank, a wood burner to provide heat in winter and strategically placed operable windows and doors for cross ventilation in Summer, – making the Archiblox home at Fish Creek is a self sustainable gem.
Simone and Dave love their home and the lifestyle it promotes. “This home is designed specifically for us, it’s truly unique, and is inspiring us to live off the land. It recharges the family, brings us closer together and with nature. There is also a huge sense of community here and that’s been missing for us in the city” says Simone.
“David has also been working towards keeping the family fully sustainable in vegetables, and has installed 8 garden beds. He grows it, i cook it! What we can’t grow, we source locally and there is an array of local produce to choose from.
“All this aside, I need to mention the outdoor bath! Bathing outside amongst the trees is an indulgence unknown to city slickers. It’s my own personal day spa and is my favourite addition to the house.”
The Archiblox Fish Creek property proves that remote living doesn’t mean compromising on life’s luxuries or with any sacrifice to design and comfort. Here is an example of a family that have chosen to reconnect with nature, their family and their local community – balancing the churn of everyday life in the city with a more mindful way of living.