luxury sustainable home

what to do with a south facing block

Yesterday Luke and his family visited the Courtyard House for breakfast. Helena, Francis and their daughter Coco have settled in, coloured cushions and paintings harmonising with the neutral palette of timber and render. The central courtyard fills the new extension with light and the landscaping is underway.




Type: Residential alteration & addition to heritage home

Location: Armadale

Size: Site 322m2, Existing building 149m2, Proposed building 165m2, Garden/Outdoor Entertaining  137m2

Challenges: south facing site, existing heritage house to the north

Building Star Rating: 7.2

Features: The extension is made up of three elegant architectural elements.  A timber link element contains the kitchen and connects to the masonry living room ‘pod’.  Above this sits the sculptural second floor bedroom ‘pod’.  The overhang of the second storey ‘pod’ functions as sun-shading to the northern ground floor windows and creates an undercroft to the south-west terrace. The conventional response to linking old and new is often to join them via a glass corridor, by making our link functional we reduced the amount of useless corridor in the project.


courtyard house design

Sustainable strategy:

Energy: 5kW photovoltaic panels
Water Saving: 5000L water tank

Passive Design: courtyard allows northern sun past the existing front house and into the extension, operable windows located for cross ventilation

Building materials: Rendered blockwork, shiplap timber, radial-cut weatherboards

Windows: Timber high performance double glazed windows

Active Heating & Cooling: Hydronic heating panels

Lighting: Daylight maximised, LED fittings

Paints, finishes & floor coverings: floating floor over concrete slab, low VOC paint throughout, external blinds shade doors & windows where necessary


south facing block

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