The Gruen Eco Design blog about how to convert your dream of an energy efficient home into a reality.


The team from Sanctum Homes is working too fast at the moment…. I can’t keep up with the blog posts ?

Therefore, here comes a bit of a summary.

Some of you might remember the landscape dilemma we had with our current place. Or rather the lack thereof. Our backyard used to be an overgrown jungle. We left it neglected for years. And only after living in the house for almost 5 years did we start working on the garden and the decking. And we had promised ourselves to never neglect the landscaping again ?

Well, here we go, almost halfway through our construction and we don’t have a clear idea about the landscaping just yet. But we have finally engaged a landscape designer. We will be working with Nadia and the team from Platylobium.

We have also settled on a solar system. We will be getting a 6.66KW system. And while we won’t have batteries just yet. It will be set up to be ready for future batteries and for our future electric car.

All the walls are up and the electric rough in is about to happen. Therefore, we had to act fast and get the solar provider on board quickly, to make sure all cables and connections are installed correctly.

Speaking of which. We have also scheduled in a walk through with our builder and the electrician. To confirm the location of all the light fittings, switches and power points. Very exciting. And surprise, surprise. We have done some small last-minute changes to our lighting for the living room.

At the start we had planned for a track lighting system to be installed on the raked ceiling in our living room. But now we are considering having a few wall mounted light fittings instead. Still working on the details and actual locations…

Also, we had some further discussions on how to get the vents for the ventilation at the back of the living room. Rather than putting in a bulkhead, which would destroy the symmetry, we had come up with the idea of a feature shelf, to house the ducts and a LED lighting strip. And hence the idea of a planting shelf was created. However, after further considerations we all agreed it will be a fiddly and expensive exercise. Therefore, we are now considering an increase to the wall cavity as to hide the ducts in there. Which would make the living room about 70-90 mm smaller overall. But we still need to investigate further if this will work.

The roof sheeting is going on at the moment. The external membranes are also on. Dry as a bone! And the external timber battens are getting installed.

The window frames are in and the first triple glazing panes have been installed. Our 2 Velux roof windows are also in. Very exciting!

Stay tuned for updates on the electrical and how we will solve the ventilation for the living room.