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A rotating house for Gungahlin

By 12 December 2012 25

The Clean Energy Future website has an intriguing promise of a house being built in Crace which will be able to flip around to follow the sun:

The rotating house, in the suburb of Crace, will be the first of its kind in the nation’s capital.

Currently under construction, the four-bedroom home, designed by DNA Architects and Industrious Design, will allow its owners to take full advantage of natural light and solar efficiency by rotating with the touch of a button.

The house – dubbed Girasole, meaning follow the sun – can complete a full rotation in less than 10 minutes and can also rotate to track the sun automatically.

The rotation, using twenty-eight wheels and two motors, will require about 100 watts of electricity – about the same as a bright light bulb.

We look forward to seeing this wonder in action.

UPDATE 12/12/12 16:43: The house’s PR firm have been in touch to point us at a story in The Age and a facebook page if you’re interested.

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25 Responses to A rotating house for Gungahlin
#1
thatsnotme3:30 pm, 12 Dec 12

Well, that’ll f&#$ the Jehovahs!

#2
Holden Caulfield4:15 pm, 12 Dec 12

Seems like a good idea in theory. Will be good to check it out.

#3
gospeedygo4:29 pm, 12 Dec 12

The first house that inspires motion sickness? I thought all the houses in Crace did that. I kid because I love.

#4
farq4:33 pm, 12 Dec 12

A house in Crace designed around the idea of having a good solar aspect is unique, I’ll admit that.

#5
schmeah4:33 pm, 12 Dec 12

Awesome! Lucky residents will be have front row viewing access to ALL their neighbours yards and bathrooms!

#6
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd4:38 pm, 12 Dec 12

Does the benefit of a rotating house outweigh the initial build cost? Surely can’t be cheap.

#7
aidan4:50 pm, 12 Dec 12

It is a good idea because you can “over-glaze” one side of the house, and then point that south in summer, or hot days in spring/autumn. Could probably achieve the same effect with shutters or removable shade structures for a fair bit less cost.

Rotating to the south would stuff up roof mounted solar PV however.

Strikes me as a bit gimmicky, expensive and prone to failure.

#8
LSWCHP4:57 pm, 12 Dec 12

schmeah said :

Awesome! Lucky residents will be have front row viewing access to ALL their neighbours yards and bathrooms!

And all of their neighbours will be able to hear them having sex at various times, rather than just the ones on the bedroom side of the house. Share the love! :-)

#9
Grail5:19 pm, 12 Dec 12

What about over-glazing the south side of the house and using heliostats?

#10
poetix5:20 pm, 12 Dec 12

It would be cool if it went out of control. That happened to James Bond once in a training thing for astronauts.

It’s bound to happen sooner or later.

#11
arescarti425:59 pm, 12 Dec 12

Seems very gimmicky to me, you don’t need your house to rotate for it to be energy efficient in Canberra’s climate. Proper orientation, solar passive design and decent insulation will do the trick.

From my perspective, having it rotate just creates unnecessary complexity, expense, and limits what you can do with the design.

#12
Pork Hunt6:06 pm, 12 Dec 12

poetix said :

It would be cool if it went out of control. That happened to James Bond once in a training thing for astronauts.

It’s bound to happen sooner or later.

Like turning an LP into a 78?

#13
Duffbowl6:20 pm, 12 Dec 12

Looks fairly interesting, and I’d love to see how it goes in 5-8 years time.
Looking through the FB pics and I notice one of our newer contributors who likes to advertise by stealth commented that they could have assisted the project.

#14
dpm8:51 pm, 12 Dec 12

Quite interesting! I’d love to see how the services were all designed to work in a rotating environment! Would be tricky to arrange I imagine?!
Same with the guttering. It mentions an underground tank but not sure how you’d connect that.
The neighbours must have been a bit freaked when they saw the early work! :-)

#15
xperfect_darkx9:29 pm, 12 Dec 12

How does the plumbing/electricity work if it all moves? Surely at least the plumbing needs a permanent pipe out?

#16
gooterz11:19 pm, 12 Dec 12

I can see the advertising when this house gets sold:

“Sit on this and rotate”

Estimating that the house maybe 20 metres wide thats about 10cm/s a second at the edge. That would easily be enough to knock things over.

#17
Masquara2:34 am, 13 Dec 12

xperfect_darkx said :

How does the plumbing/electricity work if it all moves? Surely at least the plumbing needs a permanent pipe out?

It probably only “rotates” like a sunflower (girasole) – part of the way round – and there would be flexible pipe options.

#18
wildturkeycanoe6:07 am, 13 Dec 12

There are ways to make power and water travel through rotating components, but WHY?? You go to work in the morning and then come home at night to find your front door has disappeared. Going out to hang up the laundry you realize the clothesline is around the other side. Those motors won’t be off the shelf products and will require maintenance, so one day – buzz, pop, zap zap zap….$160 callout, $2000 repair bill “thank you very much”. Imagine the kids leaving their bikes leaning against the house and then finding they have been crushed against the car your visitors just parked a little too close. Landscaping will be a nightmare. Glad it’s not my house.

#19
bearlikesbeer8:48 am, 13 Dec 12

I’m guessing all the plumbing and electrical wiring leads are diverted back to the centre of the house and down through a central shaft. That’s how it works in similar rotating houses. The pipes and wiring are enclosed in flexible ducts that have been arranged to allow for the rotation of the house. The house only travels one and a half revolutions before it travels back in the opposite direction. This keeps the movement of the plumbing and wiring to a minimum.

#20
Henry829:01 am, 13 Dec 12

bearlikesbeer said :

I’m guessing all the plumbing and electrical wiring leads are diverted back to the centre of the house and down through a central shaft. That’s how it works in similar rotating houses. The pipes and wiring are enclosed in flexible ducts that have been arranged to allow for the rotation of the house. The house only travels one and a half revolutions before it travels back in the opposite direction. This keeps the movement of the plumbing and wiring to a minimum.

yep, that’s what they did on grand designs.

#21
rosscoact10:09 am, 13 Dec 12

I imagine this is what it was like when they invented the comb.

what the hell?
why on earth?
it will never work!
my fingers work just as well.
what happens when it breaks?
No good will come of this, mark my words
this is the devil’s work

#22
Henry8211:29 am, 13 Dec 12

rosscoact said :

what the hell?

like i said before, this design is nothing new.

The benefit is, certain rooms chase (or hide) from the sun, meaning you get efficient heating/cooling all year round.

If it breaks… it just stays still. You can still live in the house.

#23
Gungahlin Al11:57 am, 13 Dec 12

On piping, you can clearly see the trench to the pivot point on the aerial photo.
If you can afford the extra costs and particularly the larger block, then it would be fun. For many though, it would be more important to put available funds into improved design and build quality, plus those easily dropped add-ons like PV, greywater, irrigation, water sensitive landscaping design.

Disappointing photo on the Clean Energy Futures website of the other house—massive house, black concrete tiled roof, no eaves or shading over windows on any sides. Sticking a big PV array on your roof doesn’t make a sustainable house. Doesn’t matter how good your window design, if summer sun falls on the glass as a result of poor shading design, you will get overheating inside.

#24
Paul00751:02 pm, 13 Dec 12

Canberra: The Nation’s Capital for Rotating Restaurants and Houses. Will look super on the number plates once the Centenary plates run out.

#25
astrojax1:42 pm, 13 Dec 12

great, won’t need to go out the back – out the back can come to you! will the soalr panels have auto correcting rotation too, or will there simply be a wind turnbine to annoy the neighbours?

i wonder if the garage will have a turntable in it to allow for easy egress when you drive the lexus in front ways…

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