The clients requested a farmhouse style house constructed of low maintenance materials with optimal thermal efficiency and off the grid. The site allows an impressive view to all aspects, and these views were to be admired whilst also keeping in mind the Northern aspect and thermal efficiency. The brief took in lifestyle factors and entertaining a growing family and friends. Local Australian materials were to be sourced.
It is a large rural site. There are very impressive views to the East of Mount Macedon. The West also has views of rolling farmland hills to Trentham East. The site is exposed to the weather, and this needed to be taken into account when siting the house. There is a bushfire overlay to the site.
The land was entered from survey to the computer. We were able to use the three dimensional model to site the house so it could appreciate the various views whilst still being below the main ridgeline. The Northern aspect consists of polished slab and reverse brick veneer wall to aid thermal efficiency. Lifestyle factors included planning ahead for future family and ensuring that wet access to a mudroom/laundry was provided and the house built within bushfire guidelines. The clients were very involved in the design process and therefore very satisfied with the end result.
The house utilises its site to not only expand and frame the views to various aspects, but also by being thermally efficient and comfortable. We worked closely with the client to achieve a design that meets their needs through presenting detailed images, three dimensional models and a comprehensive brief.
It has satisfied the client brief, and works with materials that suit the surrounds and are low maintenance. The environmental efficiency is such that it has a low footprint and very good build quality using locally sourced materials.
Environmentally Sustainable Design
The design is very thermally efficient utilising Northern reverse brick veneer walls and other walls double stud with added insulation for the generally cold climate zone. The windows not only frame the views but are of high thermal quality being a mix of double and triple glazed. Thermal mass is provided to areas receiving direct sunlight. Local trades including stonemasons and builder were employed reducing transport. 270 Eucalypt Acacias were planted on site, waste is treated on site and all water is provided from tanks. Recycled timber forms the main beams and some surfaces. Low energy appliances used throughout.
The concepts documented a certain look between contemporary and rural utilizing local stone and timber. The concepts were worked through in three dimensional visualisation. There was an emphasis on storage and this is visible in the kitchen storage details and various aspects such as the vented drying cupboards. The design needed to be functional, and liveable. Storage solutions are ulilised and vented drying cupboards to the laundry, each detail worked through. Finishes utilised local and recycled timber.
Horizontally clad locally sourced corrugated galvanised steel was a major building product. This cladding was selected as it goes with the vernacular of the sheds in the area. It was also fire resistant and has low maintenance qualities. The detailing and flashing was important to give good weather protection and in the environment. The detailing of breather foil and insulation under the roofing to reduce chance of condensation in such a well-insulated and sealed building.
Location: East Trentham, Victoria, Australia
Photographs: Peter Clarke