Project description

This is a major renovation to a small weatherboard cottage in a very dilapidated condition. The site is tiny and landlocked on three sides although it does have a north-facing back yard. The brief was to provide an extension and upgrade with as small eco-footprint as possible. The result is an extremely energy-efficient and stylish house with carefully selected materials for low embodied energy and good indoor environment quality.

Every trick was used to optimize the potential of the project, sleight of hand with a socially responsible overtone. The house has a tiny footprint that captures the sky to add that space, rooms are shoe-horned into the site, external colour is borrowed to extend the apparent size of rooms, and the use of contrast for emphasis – light and dark, textured and smooth, low and high, open and closed. Simplicity of finishes and seamless resolution of detail adds to the atmosphere of spaciousness and calm.

Environmental features

North solar access to all new rooms; sunshading to north windows using shade sails & eaves; stack effect ventilation; internal thermal mass; all gas appliances; solar hot water ; rainwater collection for household use; low toxicity materials & finishes; low formaldehyde (E0) MDF for all joinery; recycled plastic cupboard doors; energy efficient lighting; double glazing; timber window frames; recycled materials; green concrete.

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