We are firmly committed to employing sustainable design principles across each and every one of our projects. We adopt strategies that promote sustainable initiatives, resulting in the construction of enduring architecture.
Photovoltaics (Solar Power)
Welcome to the Jungle House
Welcome to the Jungle House
While the rooftop of Welcome to the Jungle house is occupied by native and edible plants, bee hives and wind turbines, a 4.2kW solar system was installed on the northern facade as well as a 9.8kW battery storage system in the garage, reducing grid-energy consumption to almost zero.
Hosting 40 photovoltaic panels, Living Screen House produces approximately 14,500 kWh annually, reducing the energy bills of the owners by a considerable amount. The 10kW system is composed of forty 260 watt panels, each with a microinverter to ensure the maximum output of the system year-round.
Aquas Perma Solar Firma has an integrated 1.5kW solar panel system which significantly reduces the occupant’s grid-energy consumption to the point that the home is near carbon neutral. Provisions for future advancements such as battery storage were included, and the 3-phase electrical system allows the occupants to charge their electric car.
Iron Maiden House has 32 solar panels installed along its iconic corrugated iron sheet roof. Using micro-inverters on each panel to ensure the maximum output is being achieved, the house was also built with provisions for battery storage in the future, allowing the clients to keep up-to-date with the latest technological developments.
House of Parts uses a 7kW photovoltaic system consisting of 28 solar panels across two roofs and a 3-phase inverter to provide free energy to the home, reducing the carbon footprint of the building’s lifecycle.
Two 5000L rainwater tanks in our Iron Maiden House allow the irrigation to the garden, pool level balance and household usage to draw straight from the tanks, significantly reducing the reliance on mains water supply.
An underground 3000L rainwater tank supplies water to the irrigation system that runs throughout the house, as well as serving the aquaponic system when needed. The excess rainwater to the roof garden and aquaponic pond is collected and stored underground to be used when needed.
Our House in the Bush in Bowen Mountain includes a 110 000L cast in-situ water tank that is buried into the landscape, providing a reliable source of potable water to the dwelling. The tank is concealed by the pool-house, sauna and cabana, which all utilise the underground tank.
Our project in Tempe integrated two 2500L galvanised corrugated slimline water tanks that fed the garden, washing taps and toilets providing a free and renewable source of water to the dwelling.
Aquas Perma Solar Firma
Aquas Perma Solar Firma
An aquaponic system integrated to the rear yard at Aqua Perma Solar Firma creates a cycle between the vegetable garden and fish pond, where the waste water from the fish provide nitrogen-rich water to the plants, who filter out the ammonia from the water and feed clean water back into the fish pond.
A 1600L fish pond between the external facade and bedrooms of the Welcome to the Jungle House house 30 edible Silver Perch, which is feeds nitrogen rich water to the rooftop vegetable garden, and is then filtered naturally back into the underground tank to be used in the pond again.
Our Less of More House in Annandale has a 30-tube evacuated solar hot water system connected to a 315L tank with a gas-boosted system, ensuring that hot water is readily available to the residence while utilising solar energy for a renewable, sustainable source.
A 340L electric-boosted evacuated tube hot water system is installed on the roof of our Skyspace House, providing hot water to the residence with minimal energy consumption from the grid, utilising solar power as a sustainable, renewable energy source.
The aquaponic system, vegetable garden, solar panels and rainwater storage at Aquas Perma Solar Firma create a permaculture system that allows the house to sustain itself and its occupants indefinitely, significantly reducing the carbon footprint and showing how easy it is to adopt permaculture values in everyday life. Excess vegetables are shared between family, friends and neighbours.
A rooftop full of edible vegetables, aquaponic tank of edible fish, harvestable native bee hive and renewable energy production through wind and solar harvesting make the Welcome to the Jungle House not only a machine for sustaining life, but an educational tool to promote the permacultural lifestyle and show how easy and low maintenance permaculture can be with the right setup and configuration.
The existing roof truss, walls and windows were retained around the outdoor courtyard at Aqua Perma Solar Firma to create a space with a blend of heritage and contemporary aesthetic while reducing the embodied energy of the building.
One of our very first projects, Bexley House uses dry pressed common bricks recycled from demolition, which were cleaned on site and installed without the paint removed to create a unique and engaging entryway in what would have otherwise been a simple brick finish.
Peas in a Pod
Peas in a Pod
The demolished pressed tin ceiling panels from our Peas in a Pod project were high pressure cleaned and reused in conjunction with new pressed tin panels in the living room to create a feature ceiling that reflects light through the space.
A project that could have been a new house, in our Cape Fear House we instead chose to reuse as much of the existing house as practicable, saving cost and construction waste from going to landfill by retaining the original structure to work to the brief’s needs.
Breezes pass over the foliage into the Bedrooms and Living spaces of Welcome to the Jungle House, providing a natural evaporative cooling effect and alleviating the need for air conditioning. A thermal slab to the Ground Floor also ensures the house stays cool throughout hot summer days and nights.
With operable windows along the shared wall of the Pool and Living spaces to Living Screen House, local breezes passing over the body of water are cooled and carried through the house, reducing the need for air conditioning to the house.
In-slab heating to the Ground Floor thermal mass slab means that with the solar energy collected during the day (when energy is being consumed least) the slab can be heated with a renewable energy source, and this thermal mass will retain its heat throughout the day, releasing it upwards to the Bedrooms and Living spaces at night. A bespoke bio-ethanol heater to the Living Space also provides a low-emission heat source to the space.
The gas-heated pool of Living Screen House becomes a water thermal mass, where it absorbs the heated water and solar energy put into it, and releases it to the inner Living Spaces, reducing the need for energy to be consumed heating the house.
A greenhouse effect is created at Aquas Perma Solar Firma under the front staircase, where indoor planting and the glazing of the front facade work together to store and release solar heat to the space during the colder months of the year.
Slate tiles over the concrete slab at our Tempe House ensure that solar energy absorbed during the winter months is stored and slow-released at night, reducing the need for artificial heating to the spaces.
Solar Shading – Passive and Active
While all of our projects are designed with sun shading and heating in mind, our Sliding Doors project features a open timber batten roof to the Outdoor Living space, providing passive shading while still allowing breezes to pass through.
Externally mounted operable aluminium louvres provide solar shading to House of Parts, and allow full flexibility of opacity and privacy to the Living Spaces. External shading devices are far more effective than internal blinds, as they prevent a greenhouse effect from building up.
One of our earlier projects, St Georges Basin House features operable aluminium louvres to both the street facing and rear facing facades, allowing full height glazing without risk of overheating or privacy concerns.
House in the Bush
House in the Bush
House in the Bush utilises a 3-chamber treatment system for the wastewater from the Kitchen, Bathrooms and Laundry, turning otherwise unusable water into water suitable for irrigation to the garden. This also eliminates the need for a sewer line to the difficult-to-access site.
Our work is holistically sustainable, including how we progress through a project from start to finish in the office and on-site. Our practice, being an Architect-Builder, is the most sustainable way to get a project from the sketchbook to a built structure in terms of efficiency and speed.
We design to standard material dimensions to reduce the amount of waste off-cuts whether it be joinery, flooring, tiles or cladding. We use locally sourced materials to reduce the embodied energy of our buildings, and preserve the financial sustainability of the local economies. We recycle unused materials between projects, live locally to reduce transport distances and are at the forefront of ethical, equitable and progressive employment policies.
We believe in ahouse as a machine for living in the truest sense of the meaning, that is a house is a machine for sustaining life.