The Brief: To design a 3 bedroom family home made from natural materials that suits their artistic lifestyle.
Design Response: The home is designed to be healthy, comfortable, climate responsive and energy efficient.
The main living spaces face North and are open plan with high ceilings and exposed timbers, perfect for hanging art pieces and sets for theatrical rehearsals. On the Southern side of the house are 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry and entrance hall. The detached studio and office have their own wet area.
The house and studio have been designed using passive solar principles to reduce the need for cooling in summer and heating in winter. It uses a standard timber post and beam wall frame and roof structure.
The Southern, Eastern and Western external walls are strawbale infill finished with an earth render. The result is a natural, breathable wall with excellent insulation performance (greater than R6, compared to building code minimum of R2.8). The Northern external wall is constructed from clay slip mixed with loose straw and lightly packed into temporary formwork. Internal walls are standard timber stud with cob infill for thermal mass.
A thermally controlled sunroom to the North-East captures winter sun to help heat the house. Overall, the house achieves an impressive 7.3 star energy rating which is remarkable given the extensive use of natural materials and only single glazed windows.
The family living in this home report very comfortable temperatures year round.