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Hilltop off-grid cabin designed to recharge the batteries

Timber and metal clad sustainable house
Loungeroom with timber flooring in an off-grid home
Loungeroom with fireplace in sustainable house

A hilltop off-grid cabin designed as a place to escape day to day life is the stuff of dreams, but is the enviable reality for a Tasmanian couple who both work as paramedics. This gorgeous and cozy cabin, called Hunstman, is a two hour drive from Launceston, Tasmania and provides the perfect setting for this busy duo to relax and recharge from their stress-filled jobs.

Rear view of timber clad off-grid home during sunrise
Woodpile outside hilltop off-grid cabin

With a peaceful view out over the surrounding bush, this challenging site is remembered by the Davies Design & Construction team as “really rocky, really windy and really snakey. One day a snake crawled between the legs of one of the guys while he was using the drop saw!” Let’s hope the local visitor was a friendly one! I’d be running back to the city after a run in like that but such is the dedication of their team, they all set themselves up in local accommodation for the duration of the 10 week build.

Designed by Davies Design & Construction, this one bedroom cabin was has a small footprint so it can minimise its impact on the beautiful hilltop setting. The orientation of the home found the perfect balance between capturing the sun for warmth and light plus charging up its solar system, whilst framing the views of the Hazzards mountain range and bay views beyond.

This super-efficient getaway has been designed to help the occupants live more mindfully during their stay by providing only one water tank and a 6kw solar system with one lithium battery for storage. It forces a change in the way they live and how they run a house, simply because both the water and power can run out if they waste it. The simplicity of the system encourages a simplicity of lifestyle with a focus on a waste-free existence. It’s the ultimate encouragement to live totally within your means, don’t you think?

Front view of timber and metal clad sustainable home
Timber hallway going to loungeroom inside sustainable house
Louvered window and timber flooring in sustainable home
White kitchen cupboards and timber floor of sustainable house

Sustainability specs
Small footprint
Passive solar design
– 6kw solar system with one lithium battery
– Timber frame with insulated raft slab
– Clad in low maintenance zincalume custom orb and spotted gum shiplap cladding
– Double glazed windows
– Spotted gum deck
– Tasmanian oak internal features, such as the custom-made ladder and handrail
– Hilltop off-grid cabin

Side view of off-grid sustainable home surrounded by trees
Timber floating shelves and louvered windows in sustainable house
Master bedroom with timber floors and sliding glass door in sustainable house
Stone driveway wall looking towards timber sustainable house
Driveway of timber clad sustainable house
Side view of timber clad sustainable house and water tanks
Steal these ideas for your own home

Take a good look at the amount of energy and water you consume. Come up with some clever ways to reduce your consumption and see how efficient you can become. Did you know that the water which is piped into our homes is all drinking quality water? This includes the water in the toilet, the laundry and the outdoor taps. If you look for ways to save this drinkable water as you go about your day, you’ll be surprised at just how much you typically waste. Let’s all live as if water and energy isn’t limitless, and that it may (one day) run out.

And if you’re renovating or building – consider installing a bath with a view (filled from rainwater tanks if you can) and a little ledge for a sustainably produced glass of wine. What a way to relax at the end of the day!

Bath with views of bush through glass window in sustainable home
Bathroom vanity and shower in off-grid home
View of a sustainable home at night with lights on
Distant view of timber off-grid sustainable home at dusk
Who designed and built it?

Designed and built by the team at Davies Design & Construction, who were finalists in the 2021 HIA GreenSmart Sustainable Home awards and have an impressive amount of awards already under their (tool) belt. They are committed to creating homes, which are mindfully designed to reflect each owner’s core values and their lifestyle, nurture their health and wellbeing, and are environmentally conscious from their inception through to the materials and technology used in the building process.

Images courtesy of Davies Design & Construction. Photography by Anjie Blair

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