As most would already be aware, Lawrie O’Shea is the proud owner of O’Shea Plumbing (our main office is situated in Mount Waverley, VIC). But his own own house is also a big part of the ‘O’Shea story’. Lawrie’s unique property is located in Wantirna, VIC and forms the basis of an interesting case study in and of itself. Lawrie has lived in this house since he had it built in the early 1980s. Remarkably, he completed all of the plumbing work in the house entirely on his own.
Lawrie’s house has some noteworthy features and specifications which are particularly relevant from a building and design standpoint. The residential structure is built to be very energy efficient, facing the north with wide eaves. This aspect allows winter sun to filter through, whilst eliminating the full heat of summer’s glare. Therefore, the effects of extremes in temperature are minimised throughout the home, reducing the need for gas, electric or other forms of heating/cooling expenditure.
Additionally, a solar gas hot water system works well in assisting the reduction of energy bills. Solar pool heating means that the pool can be used for more months of the year, providing obvious economic benefits. Another measure of frugality and eco-consciousness is the ‘Vulcan Freeloader’ hot water tank installed on the property. The anode in this system needs only be changed every four to five years. This result is a vastly extended life span of the hot water tank. It’s still functioning equally as well today as when it was first installed 27 years ago
Photovoltaic panels on the roof help to further reduce electricity bills and water pressure reduction is of great benefit. A ‘Wilkins’ pressure reduction valve is fitted at the outlet of the water meter. A cold water expansion valve is fitted to the inlet and a limit valve is fitted to the outlet of the hot water unit. All these valves were sourced locally from ‘The Plumbers Coop’ in Mitcham, VIC. The fittings of these valves equals optimised operational performance for all of the plumbing pipes, mixing valves, taps, and appliances installed in Lawrie’s property. Amazingly, two ‘Dorf’ shower mixer taps are still going strong even after 30 years!
All these smart measures implemented in Lawrie’s home are highly recommended for the residential building sector and, indeed, any individual homeowner who would like to reduce their maintenance and energy costs alongside their environmental footprint.