Sub­tle air of com­fort

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Jes­sica Howard Email howardjr@the­mer­

WHEN Pene­lope Ha­ley bought part of the last lot of land to be sub­di­vided in the Coles Bay vil­lage 15 years ago, she was a 24- year- old sin­gle woman about to em­bark on a three- year trip overseas.

Now that land is oc­cu­pied by a mod­ern, en­ergy- ef­fi­cient res­i­dence which is a sec­ond home to her fam­ily of five.

With views of the East Coast’s Haz­ards moun­tains, the home has Fr­eycinet Na­tional Park prac­ti­cally in its back­yard.

The Ha­leys did their home­work be­fore ap­proach­ing ar­chi­tect and builder War­ren French to help turn their vi­sion for a so­lar pas­sive prop­erty into re­al­ity.

Pene­lope and her hus­band Dean were not new­com­ers to the build­ing world be­fore start­ing the Coles Bay home last year.

In 2002, they pur­chased two derelict houses in Glebe for $ 85,000 and ren­o­vated both into a three- storey con­tem­po­rary home. ‘‘ How we con­vinced the bank to do this, I have no idea,’’ Penny re­called.

‘‘ It was back be­fore the GFC, but still we were a young fam­ily with only one in­come.

‘‘ I re­mem­ber com­ing home with our first child Ebony from hos­pi­tal and hav­ing only a mi­crowave and fry­ing pan to cook with.

‘‘ By the time our son Finn ar­rived we were well into the ex­ten­sion.’’

Bring­ing back the same ar­chi­tect for the Coles Bay home a decade later, now with a bud­get of $ 250,000, the trio worked to over­come the chal­lenge of build­ing a house in such a re­mote lo­ca­tion.

All the walls were pre­fab­ri­cated off- site in north­ern Tasmania. It took three days to erect them and the roof was added on the fifth day.

From this point, the hus­band and wife team man­aged the project while jug­gling a young fam­ily, work and myr­iad other re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Us­ing new prod­ucts to give the abode an ex­cel­lent ther­mal rat­ing was some­thing the Ha­leys were keen to try from the start.

Floor- to- ceil­ing win­dows al­low the light to stream in from ev­ery di­rec­tion while of­fer­ing spec­tac­u­lar views. A curved rec­tan­gu­lar win­dow in the mas­ter bed­room looks on to the na­tional park.

‘‘ Through in­tel­li­gent de­sign we have man­aged to quite nat­u­rally be ther­mally and en­ergy ef­fi­cient,’’ Penny said.

‘‘ En­gag­ing an ar­chi­tect to do our think­ing for us was one of the most en­ergy- ef­fi­cient things we could have done.’’

The in­no­va­tion and con­sid­er­a­tion taken to build this house has not only saved time and money but cre­ated a home that re­flects the wants and needs of a grow­ing fam­ily.

‘‘ A well de­signed house is sub­tle,’’ Penny said. ‘‘ You en­joy be­ing there, be­cause it is new and mod­ern, but there is some­thing else, some­thing very sub­tle.

‘‘ It is not un­til you stop and think or some­one asks you the ques­tion and you re­alise that light, view and sun­shine are a ne­ces­sity to a peace­ful, tranquil home.’’

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