This magnificent home, constructed in just over 7 months, boasts excellent examples of clever design on a geographically challenging site while showcasing the future of sustainable living. The client has made some ingenious decisions, which included introducing a crank in the floor layout plan of the home to take advantage of the breathtaking views of both the valley and our amazing city of Perth. In turn, smart internal design maximised the homes interior space to its absolute full potential.
The home has been built utilising all 5 key principles of Passive House methodology, which initially, presented some challenges upon the first review of the original design. However, in collaboration with the Client, these challenges were quite easily and efficiently overcome.
One can see when looking at the home that the site presented its difficulties not only for its topography but also form the point that it was reactive soil. The use of our lightweight panelling system allowed the installation of the steel substructure (built 100% in house) to be designed using lighter steel members and smaller concrete footings. The results of this were not only beneficial to the schedule but also the project budget.
The home is quite a large footprint which was beneficial for both rainwater harvesting and also the placement of a large PV system on the roof. The crank in the building and High light windows was also beneficial with maximising orientation. The elimination of box gutters in an area of high vegetation density was also a very clever design principle. With R-5 insulation throughout the entire roof space placed just above the airtight layer on all ceilings as with all builds in adherence with passive house principles.
The heart of the home is large open plan living catering for the kitchen/ living and dining rooms. With many windows, space is very bright complimented by raking ceilings centred on the crank of the building rising to meet high light windows south facing above the kitchen island unit. This maximises the light to the area while minimising the heat gain. This presented challenges with facilitating the Heat Recovery Ventilation ducting but some creative planning within the 3Dmodelling at the project design stage catered for this solving the problem.
The main living area then opens to quite a large balcony/ deck which gives fantastic views to the hills/ valley and the city. This experience is further complemented by the sensation of being over the 4Mabove ground looking out over the natural bushland and into the distance where you can see how urban sprawl has been halted by the natural landscapes. This area of the build also came with its challenges particularly with thermal bridging between the balcony and the main floor structure of the home but the simple process of moving and insulating three steel beams rectified this problem. The Master suite is located to the west of the main living area and boasts a large bedroom, walkthrough wardrobe and his and her Ensuite bathroom. The installation of automated, remote controlled blinds to the bedroom is a very useful addition to the room allowing the client to either allow the sun in or if desired block it out. The location of the master suite to the west is again a clever design feature taking advantage of the beautiful Western Australian sunsets.
The secondary bedroom/ bathroom and theatre are located to the entry end of the home to the east. Both are quite large rooms with the theatre quite cleverly located against the garage wall the ensure minimal impact from sound to the rest of the home. The secondary bedroom is quite large and with two operable windows is very bright and airy. The secondary bathroom and toilet is the main bathroom/ toilet for the house and quite cleverly designed into the space to be large and functional. The pocket created by the inclusion of a home office to the North of the main living area is very well suited to the bathroom and a very good use of space.
The home is also situated on a BAL 12.5 (Bushfire Attack Level) assessed site which again impacted the construction budget but some simple alterations and substitutions of building materials in design stage quickly solved all of these small issues minimising the impact on the schedule and the budget.
This home achieved an Air tightness test result of 1.51 ach/H which is an exceptional result and ensures that all 5 principles are completed to the highest standard combining to create a highly thermally efficient sustainable home
Applying Passive House Principles for Comfortable, Healthy Homes