Author Topic: Building Contest 2013: 2 - The Eco Dream: Hill House  (Read 1136 times)

Offline hazelnut

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Building Contest 2013: 2 - The Eco Dream: Hill House
« on: February 09, 2013, 10:28:51 AM »
Lot size 40x30 (designed for 9 Azure Lake Avenue, Hidden Springs)
4 bed spaces (1 double, 2 single), 2 baths
Price on original lot: §65239 furnished, §37929 unfurnished

Content used:
Expansions: World Adventures, Ambitions, Generations, Pets
Stuff packs: A few items from High End Loft and Outdoor Living
Free store content: Earth Day, Toyota Prius set (language must be set to US English to download).

Hill House is an earth-sheltered home for an eco-friendly family of four.  From the front, it appears to be more hill than house.  Only the postbox and the path leading into a cleft in the rock suggest that this hill is any different from those surrounding it.  Look closely and you will see a door at the end of the path, painted to match the surrounding rock.  The front door leads to an open-plan living area with spectacular views of the lake.  Stairs lead up to the roof garden and down to the lower ground floor, which has two bedrooms, each with an en-suite shower room.

From the rear, the house looks quite different, with large triple-glazed windows for natural lighting and passive solar heating.  The balconies and wide eaves provide shade when the sun is high in the sky, protecting against overheating in summer, while allowing the lower winter sun into the house.  Solid masonry walls store the heat and release it slowly at night.  ‘Green’ insulation (made from sheep’s wool and recycled newspapers) and the earth-sheltered design reduce the need for additional heating.

Solar panels and a wind turbine on the roof generate electricity.  The house also features a heat pump, passive stack ventilation (made more effective by the ‘upside down’ plan) and recycling of ‘grey’ water to flush the toilets.  A reed bed treats waste water and a compost heap allows recycling of garden waste.   There are recycling bins for sorting non-compostable household waste.  The roof garden uses companion planting to deter plant pests without the use of insecticides.

  • When budget allows, the lower ground floor can be extended further into the hill to provide extra bedrooms, hobby rooms or storage space (although natural light might be hard to arrange).
  • The companion plants don’t seem to get in the way of tending the garden and the roof is rain-proof (I was worried about both of these!)
  • The game automatically sets the door into the children’s bedroom as the front door, so the correct front door will have to be set by a Sim.