Low energy home in Open House 2011

This bright, contemporary home is a combination of the best of low-energy prefabrication technology and the traditional crafts of masonry and joinery.

Key to the design was the client’s requirement for the new house to be energy efficient, to avail of the wonderful views and to connect with the garden.

The form, layout and detail of the house result from these requirements. The house is kept tight to the north boundary of the site to open up the south facade of the house to the sun. It is orientated east west.

The south façade has large full-height triple-glazed windows and sliding screens to maximize the solar gain.

The east and west façades avail of the morning and evening sunlight and connect with the garden.

The north façade has smaller functional openings to minimize heat loss.

The house has a super-insulated, airtight timber framed structure which was precision-made off site. This hi-tech structure has then been wrapped in the traditional materials of brick and timber.


Internally the layout is again a response to the path of sun. On the lower level, the kitchen, dining and living spaces are to the east, south and west. By opening up the large sliding glazed screens, each space can connect and extend out into the garden. The service areas of utility, plant, back door, wc are arranged along the north side of the house. On the smaller upper level, the bedrooms are to the east, south and west and the bathrooms are to the north. A double height circulation hall connects the levels and encourages natural stack effect ventilation. This space is top lit with a continuous roof-light which allows daylight to illuminate the hall. Solar panels collect energy for the hot water and a heat recovery ventilation system is used to recycle heat generated within the house.


This is an A-rated home which is comfortable, bright and beautifully crafted.

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