Located in the Dandenong Ranges, the Mount Dandenong House was designed to have a Bushfire Attack Level BAL40 rating. The house is located on a bush block, fully enclosed by eucalyptus woodland. The house was positioned on the site to best avoid the danger of bushfire attack, predominantly from the down-slope western direction.
Materials were selected specifically for their bushfire resistance, and include concrete block masonry, corten steel, and metal cladding. The architectural detailing kept the roof shapes simple for ease of maintenance and in an effort to minimise areas subject to bushfire ember attack.
A sloped site, the house has three distinct split levels comprising the main living space, children’s bedrooms, and parents bedroom suite. Over the main living space, a high skillion roof allows for a mezzanine level above the kitchen area, which in turn is furnished with windows bringing natural light into the living space below.
While the house is largely connected to reticulated services, the site has no connection to mains sewer. The design utilises a wet-composting worm farm septic treatment system with secondary reed-bed treatment for black-water treatment on site. This type of system works on gravity, and is totally passive, requiring no electrical connection. In theory, the system should require no pumping out maintenance, although six monthly inspections are mandated by Council regulation.