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In amongst a cluster of new townhouses in the Adelaide suburb of Lochiel Park is a completely sustainable, zero-carbon, zero energy home; although, just by looking at them, you would be hard pressed to guess which one it was. But that’s the idea, says Paul Hendy, director of TS4 Living, the company behind the design and construction of this remarkable house.

“I feel there is a negative connotation attached to sustainability in that everyone expects you to be a bit of a hippy if you’re into reducing your impact on the environment,” he explains. “So we designed this home to blend in with other contemporary residences.”

As well as being carbon neutral it requires virtually no energy to cool and heat it. It is also a ‘healthy’ house; TS4 has used mainly natural materials throughout the home, and reduced the chemical use with products such as low VOC paints.

This is where the EcoSmart Fire comes in; powered by a renewable energy source and highly fuel efficient, it is the only form of heating required for the whole house. Also being smoke and soot free, the EcoSmart burner fit both the sustainable and healthy principles. “EcoSmart fires do not have the same environmental concerns traditional or gas fireplaces do,” says Paul.

“EcoSmart ticks all the boxes for me, as they are much more efficient than other options in the way they burn fuel – and the heat stays within the home rather than going outside via the flue.”

Paul Hendy, Director of TS4 Living

The contemporary design of the EcoSmart burner was also key to its appeal for this project. Paul describes the interior of the Zero Carbon House as modern and streamlined, with some unusual materials and textures. “The range of materials used around the home include recycled materials, glass, pottery, quartz, stone and brick, so the natural element of fire works well amongst these materials,” he explains.

“The polished concrete floor reflects the light of the indoor fire beautifully, and the fiery orange splashback tiles in the kitchen complements it further!”

This home aims to bring sustainable design into the mainstream; it produces more energy than it consumes and feeds excess energy back into the grid. Combined with ideal orientation, high performance windows and increased levels of insulation, there will be no power bills.

“We are seeing more and more families and everyday people, not just ‘alternative’ people that come to look at the house,” adds Paul. “The message is starting to get through!”


  • Country: Australia
  • Client: Zero Carbon Home
  • Specifier: TS4 Living