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Case studies

The good house redefined
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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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An alliance of old and new forms

The home, a Californian bungalow, is located at a corner street on a flat block of land in a heritage area of the Northern suburbs. In spite of its poor condition, the front of the home has retained some design integrity, but the back presents an unappealing mish-mash of lean-to structures. The owners wish for some light and air in the home as well as a more open plan living space.

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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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An extension for a large family

The owners found that after the arrival of a new set of twins, their home was too small to accommodate comfortably a family of seven. Their brief included two additional rooms, including one near the master bedroom, as well as a largish deck and a pool both easily accessible from the living areas

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