A new approach to Passive House – Outtrim


Passive House homes can sometimes have a particular look. We wanted none of that for this rural retreat in Outtrim. Instead, we chose high-level construction detailing, including a striking slanted roof line and concealed guttering and downpipes, to create a refined and elegant form.

This Certified Passive House was designed as a compact rural weekender for clients seeking sustainability and convenience. Located approximately 100 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, the retreat is situated within 40 acres of biodynamic vineyard. Nearing retirement and keen to avoid the hassle of regular commuting, our vigneron clients were seeking small but sophisticated on-site accommodation.

Briefed to create a modest and fully self-sufficient house, our solution is an economical and low maintenance design with a compact 118sqm floor area across three levels. Off-grid without sacrificing comfort, the house features a heat recovery system, waste treatment, greywater treatment and off-grid power supply, as well as semi-submerged basement cellar suitable for wine storage, a loft space for guests, and a generous outdoor deck for entertaining.

Inspired by the rural surrounds and farm shed aesthetic, the design features a paired-back and low embodied energy materials palette of timber and iron, with the addition of European triple-glazed composite windows for exceptional performance.


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  • Certified Passive House

  • off-the-grid

  • rural weekender

  • small footprint

  • economical design

  • low maintenance