Individual Home at Brookwater

The Brookwater Design Studio features in the prestige Brookwater development which is located in Brisbane’s leafy western suburbs. Read below about one of the Sustainable Buildings in Brisbane.

The spectacular site is the inspiration for this striking designer home, with the dramatic slope of the terrain providing the basis for the innovative architectural design. The site also offers passive solar and cooling elements and maximum use is made of these to enhance living conditions while making it economical and energy efficient home.

A key philosophy in developing this project was to always touch the earth lightly so as to disturb the least amount of soil in cut and fill. The Brookwater Design Studio reflects this by creating an important physical connection to the earth with a masonry blade wall running the length of the building, projecting out in a radius to fully capture the spectacular views and the magnificent nearby golf course.

Sustainable re-used the soil extracted from the foundations within the site to create the least possible disturbance to the surrounding environs.

The project was built with the belief that a home should be a monument of individualism, a place of refuge and also a solid family foundation. The Brookwater Design Studio reflects these beliefs by consisting of as few rooms as possible without becoming one large common room.

The Brookwater Design Studio’s colour schemes are inspired by the local native area and reflect the belief that colour inspiration derived from nature provides the most pleasing and timeless exteriors and interiors. This is one of the interesting factor of sustainable buildings.

The Brookwater Design Studio is Sustainable biggest award-winning development to date, see all awards here.

Recipe House at Tivoli

img-12The inspiration for this Recipe House comes from the need arising from the ever-increasing costs of affordable homes and most importantly energy efficient homes of high worth well into the future.

This house is 6 Star Rated, has a leading edge insulation system devised from 25 years experience with Sustainable construction and creates net positive solar power returned to the grid by approximately 250%.

It embraces sustainable homes solutions at the same time as demonstrating contemporary, leading edge design and hassle free living.

Some of the key features include:

– Three generous bedrooms
– Bathroom and ensuite
– Kitchen designed and supplied by renowned ‘Dana Kitchens’
– Two generous living areas which lead out onto a large, covered deck
– Passive/ cross ventilation systems
– Solar hot water
– An approximate 4kW Photovoltaic Solar System (ensures there are no electricity costs ever)
– Fully landscaped with climate specific and productive plantings
– Two undercover parking spaces

This architectually designed, energy efficient house has recently become available on the rental market.

Recipe House at Bardon

img-11Bardon, a Brisbane suburb 7km from the city centre, is a neighbourhood consisting of mainly traditional Queenslander houses. This case study examines one Bardon residence, a new 310m² two storey house, developed on the 150m² footprint of a former post war brick house. The Bardon residence was one of the latest and more remarkable Sustainable Housing projects, with 98% of the materials recycled from the existing brick house.

The new Bardon residence was designed to use the natural conditions of the site while blending into the neighbourhood. Natural ventilation creates a comfortable and healthy indoor environment, and mature trees provide natural shading; windows, openings and indoor/outdoor areas are placed to ensure sufficient natural light and create transition spaces from inside to outside. Solar hot water system provides hot water and the solar PV electricity back to the grid.

Under normal circumstances when a house is demolished and a new one is constructed, the old materials are taken to landfill. It is estimated that the construction industry is accountable of 80% of landfill by weight and up to 44% by volume, when constructing, renovating and demolishing (Birkeland 2008, 64). The Bardon residence is proof that design and construction of a modern family house, Sustainable can reverse the waste process and use most old materials in an innovative way.

The increased focus on sustainable housing solutions and green architecture was important for the future and further development of these concepts. For both clients and architects it is necessary to work together with the counterparts in a greener direction. And in business terms sustainable construction today is still low in both supply and demand.

Initiatives and companies like Sustainable can be key stakeholders in reversing the process of waste and developing sustainable design trends. This case study focuses on the sustainability principles, their benefits and costs. The advantages and disadvantages for choosing these solutions will be examined.

Sustainability is not about sacrifices – it is about better planning and management as well as working with the environment, not against it.

Retrofit at Mount Ommaney

img-10This ecologically orientated renovation project demonstrates the importance of setting environmental priorities and staging work over time to suit client needs and budgets. The Sustainable House Builders’ holistic ethos assisted with establishing these priorities and achieving significant environmental and social improvements.
The Client Brief: The existing four bedroom house was a deep plan, brick veneer building built in the 1980’s after the federation style. The house had some poorly located rooms in terms of solar aspect, which when combined with small eaves and limited ventilation openings required extensive use of air-conditioning to make the house habitable in the warmer months. The client had a rather vague brief; as well as some renovation work to the existing house. They were looking for some ideas to address a poorly utilised outdoor area with a south westerly aspect attached to the informal living area. The site was large, but despite featuring a pool and tennis court the outdoor areas were largely underused as there were no comfortable outdoor spaces nor connectivity for entertaining or for the children to play in.
DESIGN:

The design team recognised that the process of establishing the client brief was one of the most important phases of the project. They took a holistic approach that considered the family’s present and future needs and financial capabilities. Considering how best, a small renovation could improve the overall performance of the house. The result was a staged proposal. Stage one addressed the outdoor area with a large verandah extension adjacent to the house, some rainwater collection, and minor renovation of some of the upper level bedrooms. Stage two introduced a thermal chimney/ atrium into the centrally located stairwell which provides light and ventilation to the deep plan house, as well as the addition of more rainwater storage, a solar hot water system and insulation to the roof and walls. Stage three will see the implementation of permaculture gardens using greywater irrigation and a new ‘living wall’ to protect the upper level bedrooms from the western sun as well as to protect the bathroom and provide it with ventilation opportunities.

Construction materials: The pavilion-like pergola extension is predominantly constructed in a combination of steel, for primary structural elements,locally sourced recycled hardwood timber and laminated plantation pine beams. High level battens are completed in a proprietary composite material manufactured from recycled plastic and sawdust that is expected to require little or no maintenance. Drop-down plywood feature panels mark the location of the outdoor dining table and provide a ceiling to frame the space into which compact fluorescent lighting is recessed.

Shading: The existing house was poorly shaded to the south and west, with no significant vegetation and limited eaves overhangs. The extension provides protection to the family living areas which open out onto it from the harsh west sun. The pavilion roof provides upper level shelter whilst opening to the north allowing in desirable low oriented winter sun. Landscaping and ‘living walls’ have been used and proposed down the western side of the house to provide further protection. The north east of the house is protected by an existing verandah and some significant trees. The plywood drop panels have been positioned to the south-eastern side of the pavilion extension, to maximise winter morning sunlight. The mass shading provided to the house has also created a lot more visual privacy. As a result the house can be opened up and outdoor areas can be used without onlooking or overlooking neighbours.

Ventilation: The existing house featured French windows but was poorly ventilated. While there are plans in future stages to further address this, the stage one renovation made a huge difference by just opening up the back wall with a large bifold door. This has enabled air to be pulled and directed right through the house from all areas of the ground floor as well as forcing ventilation into the upper level circulation area. The effect is further enhanced by the sustainable home design of the verandah extension; the high edge of its roof sits over one metre above the existing house roof ensuring that hot air can be expelled. The second stage of work proposes a thermal chimney over the central stairwell. This will draw air from the open planned informal living areas on the ground floor.

Cooling Systems: The existing air-conditioning unit sits in the middle of the wall of the existing dwelling at the edge of the extension. Previously, not only did it have to cool an unprotected sizable area, subject to the full force of the western sun, with the unit itself was subject to that same western sun thus working very inefficiently. On the result of a cost analysis and availability of an alternative location, the unit has remained institute. Being now incorporated into a battened enclosure which screens both the unit and the associated pipe work. Acting now primarily as the main serving bench for the verandah entertaining space. The shading provided by the pavilion of the pool, allows maximum evaporative cooling whilst uncovered via the full opening of the bi-folding doors to the internal living spaces. Subsequently, since the addition of the pavilion extension by sustainable house builders, the residents have not found it necessary to turn the air-conditioning on, even during peak summer periods. The choice of floor material being masonry pavers, provides valuable thermal mass for cooling the home with summer shading, as well as providing passive heating of the adjacent living spaces by slow release of great winter sun solar gain. The rain water tanks provide substantial thermal mass properties also by shielding and cooling of the direct pavilion environment.

Lighting: A complete audit of the home’s lighting was conducted so that the house could be fitted with more energy efficient lighting layout. The introduction of the daylight into the centre of the deep plan house through the proposed thermal chimney/atrium will reduce if not eliminate the need for artificial lighting during the day. The inspiration of this passive lighting benefits not only the central circulation areas but most importantly flooding the upper level of the home with priceless energy neutral light and ventilation. Artificial lighting for the extension is all from 240v compact fluorescent globes and provides alternative lighting for the tennis court that reduces the need for the power thirsty court lights when the area is being used for general play by the children.

Rainwater: Three rainwater tanks with a total capacity of approx. 15,000 litres total have been installed as part of stage one. They are located to the west of the outdoor space helping to buffer the afternoon sun. The tanks were plumbed to the house ready to be connected to all services inside the house as part of a later stage of works. At the moment the collected rain water is being used for wash down, irrigation purposes and for pool top up. There was also another tank installed towards the other end of the property next to the garage structure, this bringing the total rainwater storage capacity of the site to approx. 28,500 litres. A pool blanket was installed to reduce evaporation, provide solar heating and reduce heat loss whilst minimising fossil fuel energy use for sanitising the water.

Landscape: One of the main features of this renovation was the integration of the landscape into the design. The colorbond roof cladding of the verandah, has been phased in the southwest corner with polycarbonate sheeting, buffering harsh summer sun as natural filtered light through random under battens. A pleasing feature allowing the garden to thrive as it extends well beneath the protection of the roofline. Tensioned steel cables, ladder from the landscape to the roof structure allowing for vines to climb into the structure itself. The intent is to act as a living, active, cooling corner within the outdoor space, serving to filter and cool breezes for both direct external and internal air quality and temperature. Garden beds to the extended edge of the extension assist in filtering out the dust which filters off the crushed granite tennis court. As part of stage three a deciduous vine will be incorporated into a ‘living green wall’ which will protect the children’s rumpus room minimizing artificial lighting by shedding it foliage to allow in desirable winter sun. There has been a focus on productive gardens and where possible vines and edible plants have been chosen. The vines as part of stage one are passionfruit and the intention is to provide a raised vegetable garden down the side of the house as part of stage three.
EVALUATION:

The principle focus of the sustainable home designs team on passive design, incorporating total integration of landscape, achieved through microclimate control, has greatly improved occupant comfort whilst achieving a massive reduction in the use of fossil fuel sourced energy. Water harvesting and water conservation strategies enable maintenance of the thirsty pool for summer comfort refuge whilst providing the potential to meet new stringent water usage targets. The social connectivity and interaction inspired by natural and passive elements of the pavilion structure has undoubtedly improved the comfort, health and quality of family life.

Recipe Housing at Brassall

img-9The Brassall Green Home sits on a suburban allotment providing views to the distant hills and beyond to the southeast. One major constraint of the site was the stormwater overland path running through the middle of the property down to the street. An additional controlling factor encountered in the design process was the need to maintain as many of the existing trees as possible.

The green home has been splayed in form to ensure the eucalyptus trees were retained adjacent to the house, while still providing the internal spaces to gain maximum exposure to the beautiful aspect.

The large slope across the site focus due of the design was to bridge the house over the watercourse and provide landscaped ponds beside the new driveway. During heavy rain storms a natural creek flows over the site from the rear, under the house and then down along side the driveway to the stormwater pipe work system.

Living areas were placed to capture the magnificent views achieved from siting the house to the rear of the property to gain the maximum elevation. Open plan living allows the house to breathe and the orientation of the rooms captures the summer breezes to naturally cool the house.

The two decks enable the extension of living to the outside from the living and family rooms on different levels, whilst providing separation or retreat areas for the residents.

Arrival to the green home(also known as eco house) is up the textured coloured concrete driveway which leads to the carport. From this point a landscaped walk way leads to a timber bridge over the dry creek bed gully leading to the front door of the house.

Internally the house features plywood raked ceilings in the main living area and the bamboo flooring provides natural textures and colours complementing the existing trees. This use of timber and natural woods allows the house to be integrated into the landscape.

The split levels of the house enable the lightweight platform form to relate to the site levels and provide additional interest to the flow of the internal spaces. The stairwell at the entry became a structural timber element rather than just a circulation route. The main bedroom is located over the main living area in a separate pod to the other bedrooms and family room which is linked by the bridge stairway over the natural gully.

Master Planning to create Open Plan Learning space at Mt Crosby School

img-8The Sustainable Architecture master plan design phase was the first step of the procedure to create a more sustainable environment for the Mt Crosby School. The design gives a holistic view of the space and is an essential base for discussions to guarantee that the outcome will meet all of the set expectations. The design will ensure the total integration for future developments and investigations, opportunities for new projects and a catalyst for projects and grants.
The major step in this project was providing the client with a sustainable architecture master plan that will compliment the current school design to create a sustainable, warm, inspirational and social environment. We ensured this by the corporation of people and school growth, landscape, future buildings, and opportunities for solar, water solutions, rehabilitation, playgrounds and cooperation.

The Sustainable architecture master plan ensured all of the clients objectives are met to be on track with becoming carbon neutral for a sustainable future. All of the sustainable construction work will have a set of objectives that makes the construction a nature-friendly one.

MASTER PLANNING

Future planning list identified:

Amenities block
– Needs to be sited near the oval
– Could also include storage
– Needs to have drink taps
– Needs to be built to alleviate pressure on Amenities A block
– Could also have a shade functionality

Hall/ multi purpose building
– Used for PE lessons
– Visiting speakers, workshops
– Venue for meetings both in school and out of school time
– Hire out for community groups – community groups could include:
– Church
– Fitness
– Drama
– Dance
– Would need a kitchen, toilets, stage area, storage
– Associated courtyard – paved and shaded – could be used as a BBQ area
– Parking
– Paths
– Soundproofed music room
– Dedicated arts room

Extended tuckshop
– Current tuckshop too small
– Not adequate for current demand
– Teaching cooking area for children

Extended staffroom
– Room too small for existing staff
– Needs a small meeting area that can be sectioned off (via concertina doors)
– Different sink / hot water arrangement
– Private counselling room

Remodelled administration space:
– Need more office space to cater for
– Registrar / AO2 (2nd admin officer)
– Head of Curriculum (HOC) / 2nd Deputy Head (DP)
– Possible second storey, to help with storage and extra admin staff

Extended library:
– Existing library was too small
– Needs extension for more PCs and books and work areas and teaching areas

Storage space for sports equipment and furniture
– Completely inadequate space

Shade areas outside classrooms:
– Need to add in fixed shade structures outside classrooms

Parking:
– Move the buses from the service road
– Drop off area needs extension
– Front waiting area expanded for easier access
– More parking areas (this could include future parking for future multifunction hall)

Retaining walls outside classrooms:
– Currently Koppers logs used as retaining wall, these are decaying and need replacing – perhaps replace with brick and stone

Special Education facility:
– Building needs to have ramp access
– Also needs water – sink etc.
– Extended to have a specific ‘chill out area’ using natural, subdued colours and quietness

All buildings need shade – as in awnings, screens, use of natural light, reduction of fluros, better ventilation.

Gardens:
– A future vegetable patch (many children have never gardened)
– Sensory garden,
– Landscaping dry areas where the grass does not grow (Health and Safety)
– Trees to be fertilised and well mulched especially around exposed roots
– Areas protected / landscaped to discourage children from running through

Outside Eating/ Classroom area:
– Shaded tables and chairs for either eating outside of classrooms or used as outside classroom area, to be situated near the music room
– Better cover for rainy days – bags currently get wet in bag racks

Netball/Multifunctional court:
– Needs to be fenced and lit to be used by both school and community

Out of School Hours Building
– To be extended, to have greater storage facitlies,
– Needs better ventilation and is very cold in Winter.
– Admin room for organisational officer for P & C

Oval:
– To have softfall put around trees on bank with name of Mt Crosby picked out on it.
– Whole new surface of cricket area, running track and rugby area

PLANNING BY ZONE

1. Zone 1 Project – Main revamp of the TB1 area
– Remove existing coppers locks
– Remove existing pavers
– Remove existing plant stock where necessary
– Earthworks
– Construct concrete colums
– Supply and install sandstone boulders and steps
– Reshape and relay deco for pathways with timber edges
– Install concrete feature wall with incorporated timber seats
– Construct formwork for learning benches
– Construct seating to learning areas
– Construct screen walls
– Painting and oiling of new seating areas
– Construct coloured concrete surface
– Construct new timber walkway over drain
– Tidy up existing garden
– Import soil and compost mix to build up the soil profile
– Supplement planting
– Mulching

2. Zone 2 Project – Revamp of bag rack
– Remove asbestos
– Repair the frame
– Install new colourbond cladding and flashing
– Painting

3. Zone 3 Project – Revamp of outdoor learning space next to TB3
– Remove existing pavers
– Construct new seats as per drawing
– Construct new garden bed with seats under the existing tree
– Install permeable paving
– Tidy up

3. Zone 4 Project – Shade structure and solar
– Earthworks
– Construct roof structure
– Concrete colums
– Kingspan roofing panel and flashings and gutters
– Modwood battening
– Painting of beams and columns
– Solar panel for lighting including battery

4. Zone 5 Project – Tank and irrigation
– Supply and install tank
– 5000L bluescope slimline tank
– Gravity feed irrigation for the gardens

This project showed Sustainable how important master planning is when creating long term sustainability in a space. The Mt Crosby School had other projects completed previously on the school grounds which were not as fruitful, because they only offered short term solutions and did not think about a planning 5, 10, 15 or 25 years ahead. The plans put in place by Sustainable have ensured the money which the Mt Crosby School spent on upgrading their main areas will be enjoyed by staff and students in the future.

Brookwater Display House

img-7The Brookwater Design Studio features in the prestige Brookwater development which is located in Brisbane’s leafy western suburbs.

Brookwater has provided to be the ultimate template to display Sustainable’ strengths of adding value to raw, dramatic topography and creating long term net worth through interpretation of sensitive design and Sustainable House Construction.

The spectacular site is the inspiration for this striking designer home, with the dramatic slope of the terrain providing the basis for the innovative architectural design. The site also offers passive solar and cooling elements and maximum use is made of these to enhance living conditions while making the residence economical and energy efficient.

A key philosophy in developing this project was to always touch the earth lightly so as to disturb the least amount of soil in cut and fill. The Brookwater Design Studio reflects this by creating an important physical connection to the earth with a masonry blade wall running the length of the building, projecting out in a radius to fully capture the spectacular views and the magnificent nearby golf course.

Sustainable re-used the soil extracted from the foundations within the site to create the least possible disturbance to the surrounding environs. This is further enhanced by home’s feeling of hanging high among the natural forest and merging with the landscape. The stunning effect for visitors and passers-by is that of a home which has grown from its site like a native plant from the earth.

The project was built with the belief that a home should be a monument of individualism, a place of refuge and also a solid family foundation. The Brookwater Design Studio reflects these beliefs through Sustainable House Construction by consisting of as few rooms as possible without becoming one large common room. Family life is centred around the breath-taking living areas with the slumber areas providing a pleasant and restful experience.

The Brookwater Design Studio’s colour schemes are inspired by the local native area and reflect the belief that colour inspiration derived from nature provides the most pleasing and timeless exteriors and interiors. The home bears the Sustainable trademark of being uplifting and comforting – soothing for day-to-day living but consistently inspiring for the people who live within.

The Brookwater Design Studio encapsulates the best that Sustainable has to offer with its innovative sustainable architecture design and strong synergies with nature, particularly the site and the surrounding environment. It highlights to all who visit that a stylish Queensland lifestyle is attainable without diminishing the amazing beauty of our native landscape and environment.

The Brookwater Design Studio is Sustainable biggest award-winning development to date, see all awards here.

Phone: (07) 3201 1177