Casa Bruno

Tranmere SA 5073

Yes, it is for an Italian family!... and yes, they do have a large extended family that they entertain on all those important family occasions. So the house is large enough to accommodate these gatherings – some 400 square meters. Normally one would advocate that sustainability is not about “bigger is better”, but rather the contrary. However, there are some instances where large is necessary, and this is one of them.


Efficiency becomes paramount here in order to remain sustainable. For instance, there is a total of 18 square meters of circulation in the overall footprint of 408 square meters, which represents less than 5%. Other aspects that demonstrate efficiency are the energy bills for the total house electrical demand. 8kW of solar panels deliver quarterly bills of around $300, including the swimming pool. There is a further north facing roof area that could accommodate another 16kW of solar panels, so it is easy to see how this large house could become carbon neutral in energy consumption.

The plan layout is simple and logical, allowing almost every livable space to have a northerly aspect. This is achieved by separating living areas from sleeping zones, linked by a family room around a central courtyard.


  • Plan shape and layout to optimize solar access

  • Single width rooms to optimize cross ventialtion

  • Reverse brick veneer construction

  • Polished concrete floors for thermal mass

  • Double glazed windows

  • Timber window frames

  • High level windows for purging summer heat

  • Raked acoustic ceilings to direct summer heat to upper level windows

  • Zoned hydronic heating throughout

  • Eaves designed for optimum summer and winter performance

  • Thermalbrane wrap to walls and roof space to seal the building envelope

  • High levels of insulation in walls and celings

  • LED lighting throughout

  • Reversible sweep fans throughout

  • Uplighters to avoid ceiling penetrations and hence leakage pathways

  • Solar pergola to northern court

  • Retractable sunshade to entertaining court

  • 8kW of solar panels

  • 45,000 litres of underground rainwater storage reticulated to the house

  • Low water use native garden

  • Northern timber deck to reduce heat sink effect against living room glass


WALLS: Reversed brick-veneer 

ROOF: Colorbond corrugated metal sheeting / Alucobond fascias and soffit

FLOOR: Polished concrete

WINDOWS: Clear anodised commercial section / Aluminium frames with double glazing