Compass Architecture
Compass Architecture

Eco Home Stage 1, Brayton


Key Features

Solar Passive Design
Solar Powered: Off Grid, 6.3kW Solar Panels and Battery
40-Acre Rural Block
Exposed Water Tanks
Natural Ventilation
Natural Light

The Site

This 40-acre rural block rises to the top of the hill, where a substantial cluster of eucalyptus trees and basalt rocks form a protective backdrop. From this sheltered position, the home is nestled in the land.

The quintessential Australian landscape features an expanse of rolling hills, rock formations, immense sky and ever-changing light, offering endless beauty and inviting contemplation.

The Brief

Requesting an energy efficient home with a focus on functional living spaces, the clients specified design influenced by the changing seasons to modify requirements for energy, ventilation, lighting and temperature.

The Process

The innovative design process responds to the brief and its challenges. The house sits on an elevated and protected platform, facing a northern orientation and views.

The house design and forms respond to passive solar design, including northern orientation, a thermal buffer to the south, natural cross-ventilation, thermal masses and high-level operable windows.


  • Solar Passive Design
  • Minimum Footprint: Functional design in 2 stages, to allow financial planning and family growth
  • Energy: Solar power only, 6.3kW 16PV panels
  • Water: Tank water only
  • Thermal Mass
  • Double Glazing
  • Wood Heater
  • Materials: Selected for longevity and low maintenance over lifespan

“Due to the location of the build, we were looking to build an ecologically sustainable home that would perch on the side of a hill on the tallest part of our property.

When we discussed this with Nathalie, she immediately understood what we wanted to achieve and provided a compact design that contained all the elements of the classic outback farm shed utilising COLORBOND steel, reclaimed brick, and polished concrete floors – but with a very modern twist.

The kitchen forms a focal point of the design, with the house extending from this point outwards, which is perfect for Dee, a professional chef. The large use of the glass windows across the northern-facing living space and master bedroom connects the outside landscape – that looks across the plain to the nearby escarpment – back inside the home.

We are so looking forward to sitting on our deck, rain, hail or shine, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, to watch the constantly changing 3D landscape painting unfold in front of us, depending on the time of day and weather.

Thanks so much Nathalie for turning our dream into a reality.”

- Michael and Dee