When small is big……
The construction of these new residences utilised timber for a number of reasons.
Sustainability was a key requirement of the design brief. The overall size of the buildings, the embodied energy of construction materials, and ‘zero energy’ in use costs all were strong considerations of the concept.
Small in area, small in the use of new energy-intense materials, and small in the use of energy and water, the houses are big on flexible comfortable enjoyable living space, and design and technology for a more sustainable lifestyle.
Timber has been used in wall & roof framing, window and door frames, solar & wind catching window boxes, external cladding, pergolas and carports & screens, feature garden walls, fences and kitchen, bathroom and laundry joinery.
Wall & roof frames: ‘Blue pine' wall framing was chosen as it is a durable renewable material.
‘ECO’ beam LVLs were used for roof framing.
Window and doors : The existing hardwood roof framing from the demolished house on site was reused to create the new feature window frames. Other windows and sliding doors were made from Western Red Cedar. The feature front doors are salvaged east coast hardwood.
Window boxes: The orientation of the site was not ideal for passive solar performance. A solution was found to gather more north sun and also prevailing cooling breezes by projecting and angling windows out from the living room, inside plywood boxes. These also provide fixed joinery in the form of contemporary window seats.
External cladding: Whilst thermal mass is provided in the buildings by stabilized earth walls, external walls are clad in colorbond custom orb and street front elevations in ‘shadowclad’.
Pergolas, carports & screens: Extensive use of salvaged hardwood both gives the houses a unique aesthetic and reduces the overall embedded energy in the buildings.
Larger timber sections were sourced from the east coast to provide main columns and beams. This timber, cut from native forest over 100 years ago, has been reused to be serviceable for another 100 years.
Smaller sections were sourced locally, for example timber slats were machined from flooring salvaged from a church in the Barossa Valley.
Feature garden walls: Construction waste was also minimised by using off-cuts where possible in other areas of the buildings.
External garden walls used ‘stackpanel’, western red cedar off cuts from the window and door manufacturing process.
Joinery and internal door frames used remaining plywood from the construction of the window boxes.
These buildings represent a very hands-on approach to the responsible use of timber resources.
Strong cooperation between Architect and Builder has enabled the evolution of both detailing and material selection on site during construction. This has enabled the Architect and Builder to fully express the beautiful visual features of the various timber products employed within the context of sustainability and contemporary residential Architecture.