This house is an existing federation-era detached house in Dulwich Hill, Sydney, purchased with consideration to its sustainable renovation potential and general suitability for family life. With a North facing back yard, double fronted layout and other “good bones”, the property has undergone extensive phased updates over a period of some years. With a young family as clients, we had to pay particular attention to building strategies and timing, as they intended to live in house through the renovation, and considerations on the actual building process were paramount while maintaining design intent, which was clearly important to the final outcome.
Renovation took place in 3 stages:
1. Initial minor works to bedrooms at front for initial occupation use and fabrication of a temporary kitchen.
2. Removal of asbestos sheds, demolition of some interior walls and construction of new rear façade.
3. Fit out of new bathroom and laundry, miscellaneous joinery and upgrade of rear garden cabana & terraced areas.
During this 3rd Stage, a gas-fired hydronic heating system was also designed and installed.
The internal layouts, furnishings and fittings have been carefully planned and executed. A major feature of the public areas is a large sliding door configuration which allows a study/office to act as an integral part of the living area during daytime, yet by virtue of the concealed sliding doors, become a guest bedroom at night when required. The house uses passive solar principles with the rear façade opened up using sliding doors and skylight installed to punch natural light and winter warmth into the family areas. The house also incorporates natural cross ventilation, ceiling fans, super-insulated ceilings and gas-fired hydronic heating, has low VOC finishes throughout, uses sustainably-sourced timber, utilises recycled materials in selected areas and with careful analysis of microclimate issues has resultant year-round outdoor spaces.
The retrofit potential of additional sustainable strategies have been considered, to allow ongoing sustainable upgrades of fixtures such as water tanks, as an integral part of our philosophy to extend the custodianship of the property as family life unfolds and finance permits. The building was open for inspection as part of national Sustainable House Day 2010 and was featured in Sanctuary Magazine issue 12, published by the Alternative Technology Association.
Last two images in sequence © Tim Wheeler
Inner West House Dulwich Hill NSW
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