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Case studies

The good house redefined
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Rooms with a view


BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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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.

KEY FACTS
point Service provided   Concept plans, permits, interior design,
contract administration
point Project type   Alterations and additions
point Home location   Mornington Peninsula Shire
point Land size   1812sqm
point Proposed floor area   158sqm (17 squares) + separate Garage: 48sqm.
point Budget   $345,000

THE NEW DESIGN
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Orientation: Many coastal sites in Victoria have water views on the South side, calling for large openings where you would normally only want small ones for cross-ventilation. This site is no exception. While we provided well sealed double-glazed bi-folds to the South side of the new Lounge room, they sit under the low end of the curved roof designed to deflect cold winds. A large high window is provided on the North end of the roof curve to warm up the space in winter. The split level design allows to catch better views of the stunning panorama. Decks on all sides of the house are designed to accommodate different seasons and a variety of aspects.

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Functionality and aesthetics: The bedroom wing was extended along the same line as the existing layout while the new living areas break the alignment to face true North. The central wood stove somewhat separate the kitchen and dining area from the high-ceilinged Lounge.

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Heating: The existing timber floor was retained and repaired while matching recycled floorboards were installed in the new rooms. The home has a highly efficient double-sided wood stove which can easily heat the whole house. Electric panels were installed in the far end bedrooms.

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Insulation: The Green Concrete footings support base walls of second hand bricks around the new Lounge room which is 1-1.5m off the ground. This construction method provides much greater insulation to the floor than stumps and baseboards which fail to stop cold winds in winter. A R.6.0 combination of fibre-free insulation and reflective sarking is installed in the ceiling space as well as double-glazing units and Argon gas filling to all windows. Walls are insulated to R2.5 and all windows are thoroughly draft-proofed.

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Ventilation and shading: The glass of West-facing windows is coated with a clear film designed to bounce summer heat. The house features windows in all directions and is expected to ventilate very effectively in this high wind area.

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Conservation: The owners had floor plans for a new house to be erected in place of the well-loved one. They wanted to explore ways of retaining the old structure, in part because of the fond memories that were attached to it and in part to reduce waste and embodied energy. The final product looks like a new house as most building components had to be replaced and the whole aesthetics was modernized. Nevertheless, the floor, wall and roof timber structures was either untouched or reworked and all unpainted and untreated timber resulting from the demolition was reused in the new works while recycled bricks and recycled floorboards were brought to the site. The cost was also about half what was quoted to them for a new house, while packing the same number of rooms.

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Indoor air quality: Low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) water-based finishes for walls, floors and timber were used throughout.

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Water: Taps and shower heads were selected for minimal water consumption (WELS 5 star rating).

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