I’m so excited to introduce this great extension to an existing residence in Hampton East by Chris Barnett from Habitech in Melbourne which really highlights the amazing advantages that good prefab design can achieve. As Prefabnz states, “Prefab is a way to create innovative high-quality buildings on time and within budget.” We look forward to bringing you more interesting ideas from the prefab-ulous world! Caroline Pidcock
Adding a New Back Garden Pavilion
The brief for this back garden extension to an existing residence in Hampton East was made challenging by the limited access to the site, with all materials for the new building needing to be carried in through doors at the rear of the existing garage. Our clients had been through the process of having the project traditionally designed and costed, with the over-budget result limiting the outlook from existing living areas and leaving them looking for a better solution.
With an 8-week total build time for the completed project, Habitech’s modular construction system minimised the disturbance to our clients’ lives that extending a family home entails.
“Our new room is living up to all the expectations and desires we had for it and the reactions we get from our visitors are great. They are blown away by the design and finishes – an obvious reflection of the time, effort and professionalism you all demonstrated. We would like to say a big thank you to all at Habitech. We couldn’t have been happier with how the whole process unfolded, how contactable and flexible you were throughout every stage, and how patient you were with our questions, design tweaks and general client “insecurities”. We would happily recommend your services and product to anyone looking for a supportive design process and a high quality, finished product.
We approached the brief by siting a separate 8.2 x 4.6 metre pavilion form clear of the existing house, linked to the existing living spaces by a bridged connection, and with a north-eastern aspect deck connecting to both existing and new living spaces.
The new pavilion form contains a separately zoned living area and study, with bi-fold doors opening onto the new deck. The glazed bridge element, with a lowered plywood ceiling, and the mirroring of another existing northern window into the new form is designed to give a sense of transparency through the new living spaces.
Dual wall polycarbonate roofing over the deck maintains winter sunshine to the existing door opening, while providing weather cover to the deck and outdoor furniture.
The investment in a highly insulated and sealed building fabric has resulted in the 4 star rated heat pump installed for heating and cooling in the extended living area being rarely used. The new space has been able to maintain stable, comfortable temperatures, holding overnight temperatures of 19 degrees through nights with minimums below 10 degrees.
Maintaining winter solar gains and retrofitting double-glazed doors to the existing living areas has also significantly reduced the amount of time required to heat and cool these areas.
|Project Name:||Hampton Extension|
|Project Designer:||Habitech Systems|
|Clients:||Working couple with two children|
|Year of Completion:||2013|
|Building Area:||40m2 + 22m2 deck|
|Climate Zone:||NatHERS 62 Moorabbin|
|Project Costs:||Total construction cost = $117,000|
– Wall and roof panels supply = $17,400
– Wall and roof installation = $3,800
- Passive solar design – maintain winter solar gains to existing living areas
- Material efficiency – Structural integrated panel material efficiency, reduced wastage from factory manufacture, reduced packaging and waste in delivery
- High levels of insulation – walls R4.3, roof R5.5
- Glazing – double-glazed timber doors retrofitted to existing living areas and new pavilion
- Lighting – LED light fittings throughout
- Rainwater capture – extending existing rainwater tanks with 2,000 litre tank from new roof
A Video of the Building Process
Liveability Q and A with the owners
Was energy efficiency an important factor in the brief to your architect?
Definitely. We originally started researching pre-fabricated design options to try to reduce the amount of time involved in the on-site construction phase of our project. However, the more we researched the subject, the more we became aware of the proven benefits of using structural insulated panels (SIPs). These benefits manifested themselves not just in the reduced time on site of the builders, but also in the environmental benefits due to superior insulation qualities, the manufacturing process of materials which involves less wastage / landfill, and the construction itself. e.g. less materials required in the framing of the building. We then started looking for an Architect who was already utilising and designing with this type of product, and fortunately we came upon Habitech Systems locally in Melbourne.
Do you see a home renovation which optimises environmental factors as being: better for the life in the house (comfort), or for the energy efficiency of the house or both ?
Both. The superior insulating properties of the structural insulated panels (SIPs) has translated into reduced heating requirements made the house far more comfortable
How were issues concerning sustainability addressed in the design?
The design incorporated the use of structural insulated panels (SIPs) for wall and roof construction, double glazed windows and doors, use of timber framed windows and doors to lessen temperature transference, underfloor insulation, external screens positioned over windows to lessen entry of summer sun into the house, large volume water tank to capture rainwater which is plumbed back to our toilets / washing machine , and the actual site orientation of the construction.
Are you addressing sustainability in other areas of your life as well? If yes examples
Yes. A couple of examples are changing our existing halogen downlights to LED lights, and the recycling of green waste to use as compost for our garden where we are growing a variety of food plants for consumption.