Twice the features

DJILDJIT is an excellent example of sustainable housing.

The two apartments in White Gum Valley are split across one block, meaning two families can share resources to live more efficiently.

Martin Anda, who owns one of the apartments, said he had hoped for three apartments on the block, but couldn’t get the plans past Freo council.

Mr Anda said the apartments were designed to perform in four key areas; built form, energy, water use, and landscape.

Both in themselves and taken together, these features create an impressive degree of sustainability.

A lot of recycled materials went into the apartments, with the stabilised rammed earth walls using demolition rubble.

The concrete floors also contain some recycled materials, and the apartments’ timbers include recycled jarrah.

The walls are clad on the outside to improve thermal efficiency, as rammed earth in itself is not the most efficient heat-saving material. The windows are double glazed and light colours have been chosen for the apartment walls.

The apartments have a combined solar energy rating of 5.5 kilowatts, and a hydraulic heating system which is controlled by an application, to suit different weather circumstances. On sunny days solar energy can be put back into the thermal mass of the building, so that it will be warm when the cold night falls.

A shared water scheme makes for higher efficiency across both apartments. A 5000-litre underground rainwater tank supplies dishwashers, the shared washing machine, and toilets.

All Djildjit’s organic waste is composted on site and no chemicals find their way into the garden.

While Djildjit’s apartments are significantly smaller than Perth’s McMansions, Mr Anda is very content.

“I would rather spend more money on sustainability features, and save money by having a smaller house,” he said.

He said rather than build with an eye to what would sell in the future, he wanted an apartment that fitted his current lifestyle.

He also believes a smaller, money-saving home could be more attractive than a larger, less sustainable house in the current depressed housing market.

Djildjit will be open from 10am-4pm on September 15. See https://sustainablehouseday.com/house/djildjit from this weekend to get the address.

by MIREILLE CHRISTIE

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