Wembley Residence

Status: complete

Services provided:
  • Architecture /
  • Design /
  • Interiors

Seeking a home to retire in, our clients on this project decided to subdivide their existing 1000 square metre block and build a new residence on the rear while keeping the existing front property with only minor modifications. Their requirements were for a reduced number of rooms and a smaller yard to maintain, future proofing the home to allow them to age in place, in addition to a large focus on sustainability and self-sufficiency measures.

The building is constructed from a mix of reverse brick veneer, rammed earth, concrete slabs, and a skillion timber framed roof. The reverse brick veneer is insulated heavily within the stud frame on the outside face and holding the thermal mass of masonry on the inside leaf. Rammed earth walls complement this with their extremely high thermal mass and acoustic performance allowing them to stay cool all day long and minimize sound transfer and any internal echoes. Large screened north and east facing windows bring light into the double height entry void which doubles as the circulation core for the home with a shallow stepped stair and elevator for ease of access to the upstairs bedrooms. The living areas face onto the north courtyard which is a mix of planted native garden and a poured liquid limestone that both matches the rammed earth walls and avoids heat retention.

Sustainability initiatives were a key driver for our clients which led them install an array of systems to minimise their ongoing resource consumption. All roofs have a rainwater capture system that is plumbed back into the house via a 55,000 litre underground water tank in the driveway with a mains connection switchover should it ever run dry. A 6.6kwh solar system is installed at the optimum angle of the north facing roof with a Tesla battery storage and resale to the grid enabling a power bill of less than a $1 a day even throughout the height of summer (with a ducted air conditioning running during the hottest days). The core circulation space holds two electric skylights at the highest point of the sloped ceiling which are enabled to open and close on schedule, drawing out the rising hot air and enabling the afternoon breeze to be easily flushed through the house. This is further complimented by sash-less windows throughout that enable maximum airflow. Underfloor heating with a low power draw is installed in the ground floor core area and in upstairs bathrooms. This will draw on solar power during cooler months to automatically maintain the core temperature of the house through a gentle warming process.

This project was completed in late 2019 with landscaping scheduled for winter 2020.

Check out these timelapses of the progress and see what goes on behind the scenes of a project, or head to our YouTube page for a better view: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuOJpM93kedTd8jbMbaKDKA