This project – a collaboration between two design firms – is set on an infill site to the rear of an existing house; it is a ‘battle-axe’ block, with a northerly aspect to the rear.
The client’s brief was to create an energy efficient and sustainable home, with a high level of indoor air quality, and also to maximise the sustainable use of resources. Every opportunity to maximise thermal performance aspects have been explored in developing this project; orientation, thermal mass, high levels of insulation; cross ventilation and judicious use of glazing; and retaining existing deciduous shading. In the process, the designers have created a light and airy home, which is healthy and comfortable, and will easily adapt to changing occupant requirements.
In addition to the passive design of the house, selection and reuse of materials and resources has been thoughtfully considered. Some construction materials and many of the fittings have been recycled/repurposed. The active systems used in the house include a PV system (which generates approximately eight of the average nine kilowatt hours used daily) and a passivhaus heat exchange ventilation system to maintain indoor air quality without losing thermal performance; as well as a hydronic system to boost warmth on overcast winter days.
By any measure, the 8.5 star rating, or staying below 26 degrees inside during five days of 40+ degree heat in January 2014, this home is a worthy winner in this category!