We were inspired by pioneers in sustainable housing design, by individuals such as Michael Mobbs, and Bill Lawson, who have both penned on the topic of better housing and their link to our environmental impact. They gave us much to consider, and spurred us on this path to provide better housing alternatives. We have designed and built many houses, have had many conversations and consultation with numerous home owners, and I hope we have contributed a little back to the industry and to our community. We are also very proud and thankful to have been written up in magazines such as the Sanctuary Magazine and Renew, and to be invited to contribute on a publication on Rethinking Building Materials. We make them available here, in the hope that they will give you food for thoughts too and make a bit of difference to the way we live.
- Click on the Magazine Covers below to access the articles -
On the drawing board, we talk about the design rationale behind the Carbon Zero series, and how the four designs come about, and what makes it zero carbon. The message is, we CAN build homes that takes into account the carbon footprints of the materials it is built will, as well as the energy that it will use for the life of the house. A house that has zero carbon impact on the planet.
We are very happy to throw our support behind the new Builders Declare movement, and are delighted to be one of the founding members.
Creating a low carbon economy is the challenge of our age, and the building sector contributes almost 40% of the world carbon intensity when operational, embodied and associated energy are considered. Builders are very much at the coal-face of this challenge, so a group that educates, advocates and supports builders rising to meet this challenge is a must.
Here's our take on how the Domestic Contruction industry can move relatively easily and cost effectively to a low carbon future, and lead the way for the rest of the sector.
Our recent pride and joy, The Cheese House is showcased in this article.
The Plow House project is featured in this article. In our experience with renovating and extending existing homes, such as this Queen Anne Style double-brick classic, we have learned much of the pros and cons of renovation vs. new build.
This house served as a published case study in the excellent book, "Rethinking Materials", by Dick Clarke, featured below. Another chapter on the 'Process and Principles of Renovation' describes the rationale, philosophy, methodologies that we use to produce outcomes, such as we were able to achieve at the Plow House.
The Penola 1 House was the first 9 Star dwelling in Victoria. Completed in 2011, it was used as an example of how a high performing house does not have to cost the earth. It also took out the much coveted national award - BPN sustainability award for us in 2011.
The article here, like many in Sanctuary Magazine, details the systems and design rationale behind this outcome.
"How to Rethink Building Materials" edited by Dick Clarke, is a collection of wisdom from practitioners of environmental and sustainable housing designs. The book focuses on different themes including what a sustainable future in buildings is all about, a look at the issues behind the choices we make, contested ideas about material impacts and the fast-approaching horizon of new materials. See how some leaders in the field have approached the process of selecting appropriate materials and what amazing houses they have created. Major manufacturers have also embraced sustainability and these change agents are also featured in the book. Finally, the characteristics and impacts of building materials are also reviewed.
Included here is a link to a chapter contributed by Jeremy Spencer of Positive Footprints on the 'Process and Principles of Renovation' that we use in office to guide our designs.
In this case study, written by Jeremy Spencer of Positive Footprints, we cover the Plow house specifically. It is part of case studies that are collated in the printed text of "How to Rethink Building Material" (edited by Dick Clarke, 2014)
We describe what we took into account when designing the renovation and addition to this beautiful Queen Anne building. How we honoured the past, but renewed it for the present and future. We hope you enjoy it.
Consultation is one of the services we offer, and education is part of our creed. In this inaugural Sanctuary Magazine design workshop segment case-study, we provided some free advice to a family on their plans for a more sustainable home.
Construction waste is no small matter to environmental protection. Jeremy Spencer of Positive Footprints, amongst others, was interviewed by Renew Magazine, to speak about the practicality of waste reduction on construction site, and what we can do to achieve better, if not best practice.
More articles from Renew Magazine can be accessed here.
Our clients talk about how they find their new dwelling - Junction House, as they get ready to open it for Sustainable House Day in September 2012. Sustainable House Day is held in September each year, and hundreds of sustainable homes across Australia open their doors for house tours to spread the word on how we can do things better. Included here is a write up as part of the Sustainable House Day Special.
Our Trafalgar House was the first house that really felt bigger on the inside. The number of people who said 'Wow!", when they came through the house during the then Solar House Day (now Sustainable House Day), clearly showed us that well designed homes felt different. This cost effective single storey house packed a punch. G-Magzine (now sadly defunct) were eager to cover it in their inaugural issue.
The Building Design Association of Victoria (BDAV) instigated a 10 star Challenge for Builing Designers, in 2011. All entries had to reach 10 Stars, the most one can get for a dwelling, in the House Energy Rating software. A 10 star house in theory requires no mechanical heating and cooling all year round, and this takes into account the climate zone the house is in. We fully support the lifting of the bar for house energy performance, and we believe the BDAV has achieved better media knowledge and fantastic education of this for its members, and the wider design community at large. Here's a newsletter on their inaugural launch, of which our project was a finalist.