Sanctuary 45: A house for $100k
Sanctuary 45 is here, full of designs that play with shape, budget, site and style.
I hope you enjoy this bumper ‘experimental’ design issue, where we not only explore the principles of Passive House and biophilia but visit eight houses that really push the building envelope. At Sanctuary, experimental doesn’t just mean crazy-cool engineering, emerging products and radical materials – although we’ve got those covered. For us, the challenge of knocking existing homes into shape, to buffer residents from a changing climate, is where problem solving shines brightest. And so we visit two retrofits: a Passive House renovation of a heritage building to make it one of the most efficient in the country, and a mountain house that’s been masterfully reconfigured to achieve 7.6 Stars from a freezing 2.9 Stars. Such projects provide a new blueprint for how Australia’s existing nine million residences can be made future-ready.
Perhaps paradoxically, it’s constraints that lead to the most creative design solutions – as demonstrated by the studio we profile that’s perched halfway up a cliff, and a small-footprint home that literally bridges an easement to make use of an unloved bush block. But budget is arguably even more influential than site limitations. The low-cost and very liveable 7.1 Star ‘apple crate shack’ on our cover is the result of an owner-architect’s personal quest to get back to basics and avoid housing debt. While Andrew Kerr originally aimed for a $60k build, the $100k outcome still shows how thinking outside of the norm can help extend the opportunity of home ownership to more people.
As much as we celebrate experiments with a pragmatic bent, we haven’t forgotten the frivolous. Playful architecture is often dismissed as extravagant, but there’s no reason why we can’t inject fun into environmentally sustainable design. We introduce you to the Gold Coast’s coolest grandmother with her pull-down grandchild sleeping pods; a novel and unique way to build accommodation ‘surge capacity’ into an off-grid coastal retreat.
Also in this issue:
Energy efficiency guru Richard Keech explains how to make use of your solar PV for cooling you down on summer days – and nights! Stuart McQuire helps you optimise a new or existing rainwater storage system, and we ask verge landscape specialist Simon Pawley to share garden designs the whole neighbourhood can enjoy.
This is our final issue for the year, and it’s been a big one at Sanctuary HQ. Our publisher is now known simply as Renew, and we’ve put a lot of effort into the new-look website and online resources, which I encourage you to check out and use to get in touch. We remain proudly independent and member-owned, and your shared experience is what keeps our publications so unique.
Sanctuary 45 is now on its way to letterboxes and newsagencies near you, full of advice and inspiration for sustainable living and building.
And as always we feature a wide range of innovative sustainable products and design tips for your home.
The Architects Declare Australia movement, launched last year in response to the growing climate emergency (see Sanctuary 49), now has nearly 900 signatories. One of the commitments is the inclusion of life cycle analysis to measure and reduce the carbon impact of design and construction projects; we asked Clinton Cole of Sydney’s CplusC Architectural Workshop to explain what his practice is doing to contribute to positive change in this area in alignment with their pledge.Read more
Having lived in their beloved riverside suburb of Melbourne for ten years, Rowan Doyle and Fiona Cock are planning an updated, more flood-resilient home to accommodate changing family needs. They are interested in prefabrication and Passive House; Sven Maxa of Maxa Design is knowledgeable about both, and gives them some pointers.Read more
Traditional approaches to good indoor air quality centre around materials that don’t off-gas, indoor plants and an abundant supply of fresh external air – but what if it’s not so fresh? Building scientist Jenny Edwards looks at what you can do when the outside air is hazardous, as was the case in many parts of the country this past summer.Read more
Sustainable House Day is going online for September 2020.Read more
Renew's comments on government home rating tools and the path to mandatory disclosure of home energy performance.Read more