Open living handles heat and cold
IMPROMPTU socialising and a desire for indoor- outdoor living inspired the 15/ Love House. Designed by Tasmanian architecture fi rm Cumulus Studio, the Launceston home incorporates a commonsense approach to sustainability.
Current life cycle analysis shows 89 per cent of energy is actually used in the operational phase of a house, rather than in the building process – in particular, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Cumulus Studio director Todd Henderson said, to this end, the 15/ Love House was organised on a passive solar model whereby the habitable spaces were located to take full advantage of solar gain in winter, while major openings recessed to provide shading from the harsh sun in summer.
He said double height voids acted as chimneys, purging excess heat and ventilating the house, while windows were doubleglazed and wall, fl oor and ceiling insulation was specifi ed well above the current industry standard.
“All of this combines to provide a highperformance building envelope, requiring minimal heating in winter and cooling in summer,” he said.
Conscious decisions were made regarding sustainability during the material palette selection.
The major material used on the project was brick. Due to its longevity and durability, it can be renovated, salvaged, cleaned and reused.
Bricks have the ability to be recycled into new bricks or into other building materials. But, more importantly from the client’s perspective, it requires little or no maintenance.
Henderson said the specifi c brick selected was a low- value “common” type that had not met quality control standards regarding appearance and was destined to become aggregate.
He said by cutting away the central mass of the house, a courtyard was formed – not only allowing the sun to penetrate deep into the internal living spaces but also providing opportunities for the house to grow seamlessly and allow family life to interact.
“The fi rst fl oor level is not immediately evident, only after you enter does its existence become clear via important visual connections achieved through the use of voids,” Henderson said.
“While lower fl oor spaces connect with intimate views of family life, the fi rst fl oor accesses distant views to the surrounding mountains providing a release from the often cramped nature of suburban living.”
The house consists of a subdued material palette and simple detailing, it does not announce the involvement of an architect but subtly “whispers it instead”.
Henderson said the house was organised around the idea of “served and servant space”.
“The non- habitable areas are subservient to the habitable spaces allowing the living areas to connect with both the courtyard and rear garden and to take full advantage of access to sun,” he said.
This project has been nominated in the sustainable architecture category of the Tasmanian Architecture Awards.
To vote in the Tasmanian Architecture Awards People’s Choice Prize, visit http:// www. architecture. com. au/ events/ state- territory/ tas- events- awards