Major Renovations of a Federation-era detached house in Dulwich Hill, Sydney
Purchased with consideration to its sustainable renovation potential and general suitability for family life and 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 construction 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 and the fabrication of a temporary kitchen in the smallest bedroom.
2. Removal of asbestos sheds, demolition of some interior walls and construction of new rear façade with new windows.
3. Fit out of new bathroom and laundry, miscellaneous joinery and upgrade of rear garden cabana & outdoor entertaining areas.
During this 3rd Stage, a gas-fired hydronic heating system was also designed and installed.
The internal layouts, furnishings and fittings were carefully planned and executed to maximise the available existing living areas in what is a relatively compact home.
A major feature of the public areas is a large sliding door 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.
Passive solar principles have been employed, 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.
Low VOC finishes were specified throughout, sustainably-sourced timber used, recycled materials used in selected areas and with a careful analysis of microclimate/orienatation aspects externally, year-round outdoor spaces have been created.
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.
Outcome : The full potential of this former dark, poorly-planned house has now been realised for family life with increased natural light, improved internal layouts and furnishings , functional flexibility and improved connections to the garden areas. The home also combined original period features with well-considered modern alterations.
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.
Recent changes to family life have included two new welcome additions: A new child and a new puppy ( not all at once ! ) These have necessitated careful revisions to room layouts & furnishings and the puppy-proofing of the house. See the Kidz + Dogs link below.
House : Dulwich Hill
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