Renovating Resources

This wonderful holiday house was designed for a semi-retired couple but can accommodate their extended family when visiting. Compactness has been achieved by carefully designing space with multiple uses and clever storage solutions.

Creating a Coastal Hideaway

Holiday Haven – low running costs, great comfort

The house has been designed to provide intimate accommodation for a semi-retired couple when they are on their own (most of the time), while comfortably accommodating their extended family when visiting – especially the grandchildren. Compactness has been achieved by carefully designing space with multiple uses and clever storage solutions. The design was inspired by the clients  creative resolution, utilising simple, low technology approaches.

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Client Brief

The clients’ brief was to design a delightful, sustainable home where they could retire to. This involved rebuilding a new home on the site of their holiday house in the Yuraygir National Park, that enable them to make the most of the exquisite coastal environment while enjoying their hobbies of photography, gardening, cooking, walking and swimming.

Plans

07-020 F.01 competition _ 2. GR

The open plan kitchen has been designed to enable lots of easy communal cooking, with views to the sea.

The open plan kitchen has been designed to enable lots of easy communal cooking, with views to the sea.

Sustainable features:

  • 9 x 167W photovoltaic panels
  • Solar gas boosted hot water system
  • 2 x 18,000 litre water tanks
  • Ceiling fans – in bedrooms and living room
  • Energy efficient lights throughout – various types
  • Thermally improved low E glazed aluminium windows/doors
  • Highly insulated wall/roof systems
  • Premium or MR EO MDF board for all joinery
  • Low/no VOC paints and finishes throughout
  • Flued gas fireplace to living room
  • Food-producing gardens including chickens

Project Details

Project Name:Holiday Haven
Project Architect:Caroline Pidcock of PIDCOCK – Architecture + Sustainability
Location:Yuraygir National Park
Clients:A semi-retired couple with numerous cats, a couple of dogs. Children and grandchildren regularly visiting.
Builder:Peter O'Sullivan
Year of Completion:2013
Building Area:House 233 m2, Block 745 m2
Project Cost:$500,000
Climate Zone: Zone 2, warm humid summer, mild winter

Considering Climate

As such, the house includes a number of different spaces that work well at different times of the year and in different climatic conditions to ensure the occupants can comfortably enjoy the place throughout the year.

The carefully designed north orientation allows for solar gain in cooler months, while excluding the sun in summer. The insulated building envelope enables this to be well managed. The site is in a highly exposed location – the clients talk about it feeling like they are at the deck of a boat at times. While this can be difficult, it also ensures cooling winds throughout the warmer months.

The following is a quote from the client in the winter after moving in:

Thermally it has been A1.The flooring in the living area has heated the whole end of the house to 21–22ºC regardless of outside temperature. The heat lingers through the night. The hallway area is also appreciably warmer than the un-sunned rooms, i.e. laundry and main bathroom. Our dog loves the warm floors, especially when the sun is on them.

Peter O’Sullivan [builder] has also remarked on how warm it is indoors at our place. I have saved hundreds of dollars in heating costs.

We have not paid a thing for electricity consumption as the photovoltaic cells have consistently returned a credit to our quarterly account. We have only paid for gas. Today I was dressed in shorts and t-shirt inside, but it was windy and about 16ºC outside.”

What challenges did the project face in terms of sustainability?

The site is very exposed and has a covenant imposed by the neighbour to the north, who overlooks the site. However, there was enough space to work around this, and the constraints enabled a more restrained and ultimately sustainable outcome

The view from the neighbours’ balcony over the roof shows how their views were retained and the house has been shaped to optimise the northern orientation.

The view from the neighbours’ balcony over the roof shows how their views were retained and the house has been shaped to optimise the northern orientation.

Energy, Water and resource Efficiency and Consumption results

Energy efficiency achieved through

  • highly efficient building envelope with good orientation
  • low energy lighting and appliances

Energy consumption: $200/annum credit for electricity

Water efficiency achieved through

  • high levels of water storage
  • low water usage appliances

Water consumption: $100/annum

Gas consumption: $300/annum for gas

Resources Efficency achieved through

  • all materials have been designed for longevity to extend their life cycle
  • all materials have been selected for their sustainability credentials

Energy Rating

BASIX: Water 58 (target 40),  Energy  63 (target 40)


 Photo Gallery (click to enlarge)

Caroline Pidcock

Caroline Pidcock

Caroline Pidcock, the curator of our Liveability ‘be inspired by design’ is founding Principal of the design firm PIDCOCK – Architecture + Sustainability which is focused on desirable, sustainable architecture. The practice aims to excel in ecologically sustainable design, documentation and advice and to demonstrate how such a focus can deliver potent influences in design and can produce delightful experiences. PIDCOCK is particularly interested in renovations, where it is possible to identify the best of what is existing and help to recognise, adapt and develop this to be part of a strong and relevant future.

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