Sustainability on a budget

This family home packs in a number of green features, whilst remaining appealing and affordale
Story by: Trends
A window doubles as a splash back in cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, gray
A window doubles as a splash back in this kitchen, which also features white cabinetry

Architect: Irons McDuff ArchitecturePhotography: Nikole Ramsay This is an affordable housing solution for a final land release in the coastal town of Barwon Heads, Victoria. Located only 100 metres from the Barwon River, Riverwalk house is a simple series of gabled forms, creating a spacious home while maximising a central garden and open space for active boys. What were the key challenges? The block sloped somewhat towards the rear, and this resulted in some very long concrete stumps which were cut down considerably in order to not overly impeed on the rear neighbouring property. The budget was a challenge however the builder came on board during the design phase and this allowed some great planning and cost cutting prior to the build. Bushfire rating, though small, challenged the desire for a simple coastal timber dwelling. The slight elevation of the rear pavilions above ground and the sue of sugar gum cladding and NSW cypress pine windows assisted in meeting the requirement. What are the sustainability features? Despite some challenges often presented with timber frame and clad dwellings, with extensive insulation throughout, the house achieves an energy rating of 6.5 stars. It is a small house achieving efficiency in construction and materials as well as reducing excessive operational energy requirement, carefully located double glazed windows throughout, allow generous to light and winter sun, while maintaining protection from the heat of the summer sun. More generous openings engage with the landscape and connection to external activities. Timber cladding is sourced regenerative sugar gum, milled by a sustainable farmers co-operative. Natural timber windows are cypress pine. The solar hot water system and a large water tank services the toilets and outdoor taps. What was the brief? The brief was for a low budget, architecturally crafted home on a small block of 500sqm, taking advantage of the westerly orientation and need for yard space. An important requirement was for separate living areas and a small overall footprint. Rather than the current popularity of open plan living, the client wanted to separate the main kitchen/dining with the living space whilst retaining the feeling of being visually connected. This is achieved through the glass link and large glass windows between the two pavilions. Connection to the community via kitchen to street, slot window along kitchen bench allows some casual waves, (nearly Mrs Mangle like) but retaining privacy. The carport to one side allows storage for multiple ‘toys/bikes’ and completes the courtyard garden area to provide a sense of open and secure play area. How is the project unique? The project encapsulates two different building pavilions with a glass link connection. The full height windows and high pitched roof generate an enormous amount of sunlight, and creates a wonderfully liveable home that allows the client to work and live from.


May 18, 2017





Similar stories

Climate control

Sun, shade or shelter – whatever the weather, whatever your inclination, versatile concertina Sky Louvres, invented by Johnson and Couzins, are the stylish way to transform your outdoor environment instantly Read more


Made from high quality marble, the strength of the granite hardly needs any mention. Excellent choice for kitchen benchtops, floors and other heavily used surfaces. See HERE our full range Read more


Italian or Indian, marble surfaces add value and a sense of eternal beauty to the aesthetics and value of a building.Intricate inlay works handcrafted by artisans from India are also available with Universal Granite. See HERE the full range Read more

Latest books

Home Trends 3305

Your new bathroom should be a place that's a pleasure to spend time in, whether that's at the start or end of the day. But what style of bathroom are you looking for – bright white contemporary or one with a more moody ambience?To... Read more

Home Trends 3304

Home is where the heart is, but what we love about a house varies for person to person. Is your ideal home one with classical Georgian elegance ... or a family home for relaxed suburban living ... or maybe an expansive coastal hol... Read more

Home Trends 3402

Placing the kitchen at the heart of a home is not just about creating a convenient zone for easy food preparation and eating meals.Just as important is the way it's seen as an attractive place where family can spend time together,... Read more

Related profiles

Louvretec New Zealand Ltd

Explore Louvretec's signficant range of Opening Louvre Roofs, airfoil shaped Sun Louvre Systems, Window Shutters, Window Blinds, weather board shaped Louvreline Panels and Gates, Fences and Screens and Outdoor Blinds - i... Read more

Sentinel Homes

We’re an innovative home building company designing affordable and premium mid-end homes. Read more

Architecture Smith + Scully

Architecture Smith + Scully is an award-winning, New Zealand Institute of Architects registered practice. We aim to create contemporary architecture that enhances and enlightens our clients’ daily lives with engaging ... Read more