sustainable design

sustainable homes
25 Lanark Street
East Brunswick
Victoria 3057
tel: 03 9386 3700

sustainable design


About Us
Design Services
Gallery - Sustainable Homes
Sustainable Consulting

North Fitzroy Sustainable Renovation

Sustainable Home
Sustainable Home
Sustainable Home
Sustainable Home

Click on images above to view larger.

Our clients asked us to assist them in the renovation of their semi detached double fronted Victorian home in North Fitzroy. They had a strong commitment to sustainable living and wanted a building that totally encompassed the latest in sustainable technology with contemporary design. Their brief was to consider not only the rearrangement of functional areas and the local planning and heritage codes, but also to deliver outstanding environmental, occupant health, energy and water efficiency.

Heritage Overlay
Built in double-brick c1867 on a double-fronted block about 40m deep, the house’s exterior shell and Victorian front door are all that remained intact through previous renovations. The house sits within a closely spaced ‘heritage overlay’ streetscape and shares a party wall to its north.. The façade had undergone considerable change in the 1950’s with aluminum windows and removal of most of the Victorian features of the façade. The new design restores the original style of verandah and metal fence and includes more appropriately designed timber double hung windows and appropriate heritage colors. The solar panels and solar hot water service, water collection and greywater systems had to be hidden from the streetscape. The curved nature of the extension allows for maximum northern light to penetrate the building in winter. You can see from the photos how it reaches the rear walls on a winter’s morning.

Planning Process
The planning approval was prolonged. The local council took 8 months to process the application. Overlooking was also a major issue for the neighbour’s and it was solved with cleverly designed screens and louvers and extensions to fence heights. There appeared to be no concern about the PV power system on the roof. The height of the existing roof meant that the two story rear extension was not visible from the street.

The NW-SE orientation and double-fronted width provided an opportunity to ‘curve’ the rear area, creating a lightwell garden, north-facing passive solar living areas and a north –facing rear rooftop to accommodate solar panels. Curving the design away from the southern boundary avoided overshadowing when creating a bright upper bedroom, bathroom, sunny deck and roofspace laundry while minimising the built-on area of groundspace below to allow more rear garden.

The extension was constructed on an onground slab and the original timber floors to the front 2 rooms and hallway have been insulated with Air Cell under the joists to improve thermal performance. The boards were replaced with recycled tallowwood. The second story was constructed on a suspended slab to improve the solar performance of the building.

The active sustainable features designed into the home include, a grid interactive 7 panel BP Solarex PV system , Garden Saver grey water treatment and recycling, a 24,000 litre water catchment tank concealed beneath the rear deck, a gas boosted solar hot water system connected to a very efficient Greenheat hydronic heating system for winter time boosting and use of recycled and plantation timbers. Old growth timbers were from recycled sources only. The extension is very contemporary in feel but contrasts well with the original front rooms which have been restored in keeping with the original feel of the home.

This home is an excellent example of a totally integrated project where sustainable principles were integrated into the design from the beginning and an excellent relationship was established between designer, builder and client to create an a state of the art example of best practice green housing

.Sanctuary Towards the Sun

Sustainable home design