The Ferndale home had to be designed to meet the requirements pertaining to eco responsibility set by the tough Ferndale covenants and design guidelines, which were established to retain as well as enhance the character of the site. These guidelines were put in place to promote sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable resources. All homes in the subdivision must meet minimum energy efficiency ratings as well as adeptly integrating hard and soft landscaping in the design.
The design had to meet the following criteria to be approved for construction:
It was built for a young family, as well as being a builder’s own home. Hence we needed to showcase his skill to a wide audience, and it had to be equally appealing to young couples, families and retirees.
A North facing corner section enabled an efficient design with deliberate placement of wings that make appropriate use of the site and sun position, and create various spaces of interest both internally and externally. The layout consists of three wings, one housing the living areas and one for the private sleeping areas and one for the garage and the loft, which provide a clear circulation path throughout the house. The wings enable the house to be integrated within the landscape, forming pathways, courtyards and planting areas all around.
A simple gable pavilion form with innovative use of Hardies Oblique weatherboard fixed vertically rather than horizontally with alternating board widths, gives a rural but modern style. The dark colour distinctively contrasts the slim‐line shiplap horizontal cedar weatherboards at the gables and inset wall of the lounge. The well thought through detailing of recessed windows in the cedar accentuates this contrast.
A timber boardwalk leads to the entry, where the use of cedar panelling draws one from the outside to the interior, and leads into the living wing. A pitched ceiling there, cleverly constructed with scissor trusses, provides a cost effective solution for increased space volume. From the Entry, there is also a clear circulation path to the Bedrooms and Garage. The use of cedar is again highlighted in the Master Bedroom. The Living room, Conversation Lounge and all Bedrooms open out onto the northern landscaped courtyard to promote outdoor living. The Garage also incorporates a loft space utilising “attix” trusses to create considerable storage capacity with the option for it to become a studio in the future.
The thermal envelope includes additional thickness insulation in the walls (140 framing) and over the ceilings, with thermally broken Low‐E argon filled double glazed aluminium windows. The slab is completely insulated with use of the Maxraft system. Rain water is collected in an underground storage tank and used for irrigation, and supplies hose taps and toilet cisterns. Grey water waste is piped to a diversion device that feeds an irrigation dripline, thereby reducing the load on the council sewer.
Solar PV cells provide power and the system is capable of feeding into a new generation battery (e.g. Tesla) when they become available. Hot water and space heating is provided by a high efficiency gas boiler that supplies a HWC and in‐slab hydronics. The exposed, dark, float finish concrete floor slab makes best use of passive solar gain.
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