Everingham Rotating House Australia
An Australian couple Everinghams dreamt to make a house a decade ago that can allow the user to match the orientation of the home to the daily weather patterns. And today their imagination has taken a shape of reality in the form of Everingham Rotating house that can rotate up to 360 degree if and when desired within a 180 degree retainer wall and a 180 degrees fixed deck and railing. The couple feel that they are on the eleventh clouds as their dream comes true.
The Everinghams have been in a spin since they moved into their dream home in the countryside north of Sydney three years ago. They can turn the house to follow the sun without having to leave the comfort of their armchairs. "When you wake up you do wonder where you'll be facing," said Luke Everingham, a sound-engineer who came up with an idea of a rotating house with his wife, Deb.
Everingham's house is situated approximately 40 kilometres from Wingham NSW, in the hinterland of the Manning Valley on the Nowendoc River, comprising pristine rapids and deep water with mountains rising directly above the river. Built largely of glass and steel and powered by an electric motor "not much bigger than a washing machine motor," the Everingham Rotating House is a brilliant testimonial to the ingenuity of its owner/builders. It encapsulates many aspects of ecologically sound building principles, such as optimizing on natural light and heat, while rotating 360° to take advantage of sunshine and shade at different times of the day and year.
Concept of the projectThe rotating house guarantees a different view every time you wake up. The concept for this project is the result of nearly a decade of intermittent research, planning and design, and ten months of construction over a two year period consuming all disposable time. The project was completed in March 2006.
As per the owner and designer of the house Mr. Everingham, "The idea was born when our neighbors were expounding the virtues of their new home and commented that if they could start again they would orientate the house 15 degrees more to the north. To this, Deb his wife said "Wouldn't it be handy to have a house that could move?"
Immediately Mr. Everingham started thinking the features which could lead the house to move. Certainly several points come in his mind as Weight? The average house would weigh approximately 20-30 tons or about 1 ton per square. Weight is not difficult - ancient mechanical and structural engineering, he commented. What about Shape? The conventional rectangular prism would not be suitable, he pointed. After experimenting with scale drawings to investigate octagonal and circular shapes, he was pleasantly surprised as a number of preliminary designs and layouts were created.
Elaborating on his points he said "At this stage we sat on it for many years on the assumption that the cost would be prohibitive. In mid 2002, we decided that our 87-year-old white ant-ravaged farm house was beyond renovation and hence we started looking for new house options. We were somewhat shocked at the cost and how mundane the end result would be compared to our "Everingham Rotating House" design.
In January 2003, research into the cost of the project commenced, and 6 weeks later we came up with an estimation that it would not cost any more to construct than a conventional house of a similar size and level of appointment.
The construction of the house would not have been possible without the assistance of the Coastline Credit Union in Taree. The standard banks did not have the appropriate computer pigeon holes to cater for our particular circumstances. The Credit Union was prepared to consider our application on its own merits. By December 2003 we had organized finance and construction certificates and building commenced!
Design conceptThe entire design concept has been firmly based on the following principles:
- The cost must not exceed that of a conventional house of the same size and level of appointment;
- The layout and finish must be highly functional;
- The end result must require very little maintenance;
- The house must be white ant proof;
- The rotating aspect must allow the occupants to maximize exploitation of weather conditions, seasonal conditions and outstanding 360-degree views.
Features of the houseThe Everingham rotating house is a 24-metre diameter octagon and this octagonal nature of the house allows for irregular-shaped rooms with a lot more space than most conventional houses. Windows and glass doors constitute a large part of the exterior walls, in order to take advantage of both the views and the warmth of the sun. The wraparound verandah is a 3 meters wide hardwood timber deck.
The entire structure, weighing approximately 50 tons, rotates up to 360-degrees if and when desired, within a 180 degree retainer wall and a 180 degree fixed deck and railing. The house can be set up to follow the sun or to avoid the sun. It can be moved to get out of the wind or to catch the breeze. The house is relatively cheap to build due to the simple design of the electrics and plumbing and the simple nature of the rotation device which controls the rotation by using a touch panel on the wall of the living room which can be pre-programmed or operated manually." Some other features of this house are listed below:
- The exterior walls: vertical corrugated COLORBOND®
- The interior walls: predominantly Gyprock
- The mechanics: 200-ton central bearing, 32 outrigger wheels and two 500-watt electric motors attached to reduction gearboxes and drive-wheels.
- Insulation: CSR Bradford 2.5 Anticon roof insulation, all internal and external walls use the R32 sound screen wall batts and 100ml thick ceiling batts throughout the ceiling.
- Geothermal piping 120 meters long and 2.5 meters deep supplies a constant 22oc to the house through the central core.
- Roofing: COLORBOND®
The house cost about $1900 a square meter to build and can complete a full rotation in about 30 minutes, according to Everinghams. The family is now in the business of exporting the Everingham Rotating House (ERH) around the world. Each ERH can be customized to meet the requirements of each unique application (i.e. Larger or smaller diameter, more or less bedrooms, utilization under house area for storage or garage etc, an internal garage, second story, second story verandah 360 degrees etc). These designs are directed at the domestic and commercial markets. In addition, there are many environmental options available. They have further researched to make this already environmentally friendly house... friendlier.