Grand Designs Australia

Behind the scenes of Grand Designs Australia with Peter Maddison: Rivett, ACT, Episode 7 Season 8

Peter Maddison takes us behind the scenes on Grand Designs Australia.

Grand Designs Australia season eight dishes up some of the most extreme builds ever featured on the series. Here, host Peter Maddison takes us through some extra insights from this week’s episode: Peter from Rivett, Australian Capital Territory.

Unique style

"This is a delightful episode. Peter wants something that will work for him and what he loves to do is tinker. So, over the half the house is a big man cave and tinkering shed and the living room is very secondary in his life."

Going green

"He particularly loves landscapes so he doubled the area he had to work with by putting it all on his roof. He also didn't want any large overheads so the entire house is underground to reduce all the heating and cooling bills associated with regular Canberra homes.

"It is such a great solution for a home to be eco-friendly. I've only ever seen this type of home in country settings, but this in the middle of suburbia and it makes so much sense to have this type of house in a climate that gets very cold and very hot. 

"The courtyard faces north so sun comes through body of house during the middle of the day and the trick is to keep the floor plate shallow so the sun does penetrate through to the back of that main living space."

"If you don't want an underground home but want an eco-friendly house, focus on researching insulation options and paying attention to ventilation and sealing the house. This will reduce energy to heat and cool the place - concentrate on the fabric of the building and make it work for you." 

READ MORE: Grand Designs Australia, Rivett, ACT: Hear from the homeowner Peter

The future of housing

"He's taken a pragmatic and logcial view of how to live in this environment and I reckon there will be more of these houses to come.

"It may not be everyone's taste because there's no architecture and no upright building - there's basically just a driveway down into the front door."

Return visit

"It would be great to revisit this place in a few years to find out if it's working for Peter and performing thermally. Also it would be excellent to see how the landscape grows."

Watch Grand Designs Australia Wednesday 8.30pm on Lifestyle or On Demand.

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