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Case studies

The good house redefined
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A pair of townhouses for occupiers-investors

Tired of underpinning their cold and dark solid brick home in an effort to stabilize the walls, the owners were considering knocking it down and starting again. The opportunity was there to not only provide a warm and well-designed home for themselves, but also to build a second dwelling which would yield an appreciable rental income now and after retirement.

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A cozy home for retirees

The owners raised their children and lived most of their married life in a ranch house in country Victoria. With some of the children and grand-children now in Melbourne, they decided to move closer to them and spent a couple of years looking for a dilapidated property that they could afford near the city. They settled on a narrow block of land with the view to knock down the old brick home and build a new comfortable home to live in in their retirement years.

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A modern townhouse

The owners bought a dilapidated suburban home with the intention to build two units on the block. The front unit was erected first and called for a comfortable and energy-efficient four bedroom house with large study and north-facing living areas on the ground floor.

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A pod addition

The owner needed more space to accommodate her three children into the period weatherboard home and was also seeking sunnier and more spacious living areas – until then located in a lean-to off the south-facing backyard. The strategy was to convert the existing home into sleeping quarters and ancillary spaces while the new living areas would be located in a rear pod connected via a walkway to the existing home.

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Strategies for a new house with poor orientation

The owner had been living for many years in the poorly insulated house sitting on a south-facing slope and with a south-facing backyard. This was indeed a recipe for freezing cold winters. While summers were not scorching, there was not much cool relief due to the lack of thermal mass and insulation. .

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A sunny haven

A retired couple living in country Victoria bought a house on the Port Phillip Bay with the intention of renovating and extending it to eventually move in and be closer to children and grand-children.

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A new home in the sun

The steep block of land was purchased to build a three bedroom home with rumpus and study. The emphasis is to provide a compact and economical design with a bright and airy feel and good thermal qualities.

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Sunny extension in a tight urban fabric

The century-old solid brick house had bluestone footings which were failing in this highly reactive soil, causing cracks in the building fabric. The house was pleasantly cool in the summer but hard to heat the other nine months of the year.

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Rooms with a view

The owners had enjoyed decades of happy family holidays at the beach house and were reluctant to pull it down in spite of its poor condition. The brief was to provide a new TV room, a Study cum Guest room, an extra bedroom with Ensuite as well as larger living areas with more panoramic views of the ocean. The house was very drafty and improvements in the thermal performance were high on the list too.

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A thrifty new home

A busy family with three boys was looking for a functional and energy-efficient home to build on newly subdivided land.

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A classic ranch style made light and airy

The owners bought the property for the magnificent block of land and quickly realized that they would need to renovate the home, a classic ranch style, only 8 years old, to make it brighter and roomier for their family of four.

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A cottage between demolition and renovation

The diminutive cottage being too small for a family of four, the owners bought it with the intention of pulling it down or extending. The latter option, being more cost-effective, was selected after the owners were shown how the home could be transformed.

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A new home in a heritage area

The land owners wish for a compact 3 bedroom home that can accommodate visiting children and grand-children. The block is the result of a recent subdivision and comes with a very small building envelope of 113 sq m (12.5 squares), which effectively limits the ground floor area of the new home to that size.

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