Torbul Hill House

Torbul Hill House sits belongingly within the landscape with extensive 360 degree views across stunning Southern Tasmanian waterways and surrounding native forests.

This totally off-grid and self-sufficient home attracts exceptional passive solar gain whilst the passive construction methodology and technology ensures this highly detailed and beautiful home not just braves the wild elements but lives comfortably within it.

In our client’s words

Complex build carried out very expertly. Nothing was too much. Post build issues sorted expeditiously. Good solutions to problems and a delight to deal with. Would absolutely recommend to others.

Designed using solar passive principles from its inception, a single storey narrow (one room wide) design along the east west axis allows close proximity for light and heat to enter the home from the north facing windows.

To achieve substantial thermal mass the floors of the house are polished concrete and the concrete slab is insulated under and along the entire perimeter edge. Solid stone masonry walls line the internal walls of the hallway. The combined thermal mass of the masonry and concrete floors retains much heat during the winter. On days with some sun, the floors and walls heat up substantially and this heat is trapped and transferred into the adjacent rooms by radiation and air movement during the evenings.

The triple glazed and triple sealed windows are protected by vertical masking slats that have been designed to block the summer sun and allow winter light and heat into the house.

A combination of solar, wind turbine, wood burning Esse stove and a slow burning wood heater provide all the electricity and heating throughout the seasons.

Gravity-fed water flow is used to minimise pump noise every time a tap is turned on and all water is collected from the house and shed.

The beautiful locally crafted blackwood joinery is a special feature throughout, complementing the other natural materials used. 6mm acoustic insulation panels behind timber slats line the kitchen, living and hall ceilings, significantly reducing noise.

It has been a delight watching the rough sawn Silvertop Ash exterior timber cladding lighten in colour over time allowing it to blend effortlessly with its surroundings.

The garden surrounding the house is designed to minimise bushfire risk. The native plants are planted within a gravel mulch, which extends entirely around the house. The plants have been selected for small height, low flammability and minimal water requirements once established.

Two thirds of the property that are forest have been fenced off for bush conservation that is home to an abundance of wildlife.

This home is truly a hidden retreat encompassing all that a self-sustainable, nature loving lifestyle can offer.

Photographs and Video: Brokenimage Creative
Architect: JAWS Architects