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Grand Designs Australia

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Stonyfell Watertank

Series 2 · Episode 7

Life in Adelaide, the driest capital city in Australia, has made Mike Dare and wife Lowen Partridge passionate about conserving water. Like many people, they decided to put a couple of water tanks in their new house. But these are tanks with a difference. Massive, custom designed steel anchors that support the house above the ground. With the roof acting like a giant funnel, 100,000 litres of water can be caught and stored in the tanks which are hidden behind internal walls. It’s out of the box thinking and what Mike does best. With 40 years of design and engineering work on some of Adelaide’s most prominent buildings, he’s developed a reputation as a lateral thinker. But Mike is now responsible for creating something that looks great too and preferably in the colour he’s most comfortable with – grey. Mike likes total control so he’s acting as architect, engineer and project manager. Working with logical systems on a house built largely offsite in factories, what could possibly go wrong? Just all the things he can’t control: the weather, the schedule, his walling company going broke and most importantly – his wife’s opinion of the colour grey.

  • Stonyfell House Suppliers List Grand Designs Australia

    from Grand Designs Australia

    Check out the list of suppliers for the incredible house featured in Episode 7 of Grand Designs Australia 2.

  • Stonyfell Watertank - Before & After

    from Grand Designs Australia

    Life in Adelaide, the driest capital city in Australia, has made Mike Dare and wife Lowen Partridge passionate about conserving water. Like many people, they decided to put a couple of water tanks in their new house. But these are tanks with a difference. Massive, custom designed steel anchors that support the house above the ground. With the roof acting like a giant funnel, 100,000 litres of water can be caught and stored in the tanks which are hidden behind internal walls. It’s out of the box thinking and what Mike does best.

 
 

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13 comments
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Posted by Stuart154Report
How did the window's preform??? where dose excess water run off end up??? just wish they done some homes which were Eco and had green technology not million dollars plus of architectural colossal budget blowing building that is on the grid with no thought of sustainable living yes some have had solar but it's more of an after thought. we are looking at building a smart green home in a couple of years so thought buying the series may help but only this one episode helped
Posted by Report
How would the tanks get cleaned? Seems like things like tennis balls and leaves could just blow in.
Posted by Report
The mesh 'tent' over the tin roof acts as a filter and would stop leaves or balls ..
but I wondered what happens if a tree branch in a storm hit it, would it tear and then the whole thing need replacing at large cost and if bird droppings stain the mesh then if washed end up in the water tanks....
Posted by Adrian128Report
Does anyone know how well his solar ventilation windows have been working? Is a 10-cm cavity enough to ventilate his house?
Posted by Ross87Report
I am truly astonished how poorly most modern homes stack up with green credentials. This house is truly a shining example of the future born from the past. Yes if it could generate its own power it would be full ticks, but it's incredible. Filtration or a way of ensuring the water did not stagnate is an issue.
Posted by SimonReport
I thought the attention to detail quite poor - there are so many design flaws with this house eg the distance between the round fence and the corner of the house; the height of the garage to the house (where does the driveway go?) the strange cut-out corners; the a/c units in the ceiling; the bedroom window looking out to the wall of the next pavilion; the 300mm deep cantilevered bench is 200mm too thick - it should have been an elegant feature etc. And why were the central tanks disguised when they should have been used as a design element? Adelaide has heaps of sun - why not harness this to run those hideous ceiling fans and the water pumps?

Finally, what privacy screens can be installed into the bedroom that faces the street? The one in photo 13 with the red leather chairs. Fixed windows look good but aren't practical for cool sleeping on a hot summer night.
Posted by SimonReport
I thought the attention to detail quite poor eg the distance between the round fence and the corner of the house; the height of the garage to the house (where does the driveway go?) the strange cut-out corners; the a/c units in the ceiling; the window looking out to the wall of the next pavilion; etc. Plus the complete disguising of the central tanks when they should have been used as a design element. And why not make use of the Adelaide sun to capture energy to run those hideous ceiling fans and the water pumps?
Posted by Anna388Report
looks really good but they never mentioned a filtration system, I'm sure after a few days the water would not be as drinkable as suggested?
Posted by AndrewReport
For a program presented by an architect and taking a architect's perspective, this house is a triumph in showing how an engineer can be creative as well as clever. It is better designed in architectural terms than most creations of architects. Well done!
Posted by Maria506Report
Just watched this episode of Series 2 in the UK in Channel 4 on Monday, amazing house and great green house credentials.

I really enjoy watching Grand Designs Australia. Well done!