Nat had built many great houses for other people before finally getting a chance to build his own. He and his family had a pretty good idea of what they wanted but needed help with passive solar and council constraints.
Bushfire risk assessment
Many a project has gone down the wrong path because this was not done early enough. We did this straight away and came up with clear setbacks to the forest. This dictated a triangular shaped zone for building footprint which is somewhat tricky for passive solar.
Floor plan function
The family wanted plenty of storage, a kids wing, a separate parents wing, a big shaded deck, a small sunny deck and plenty of open family space. They wanted good passive solar including plenty of light throughout and good cross ventilation of the cooling summer breeze.
Passive solar response
You won’t find a triangular shaped footprint in any passive solar text book – this is what we did: The most important family area is located in the north with eaves which are positionjed to allow winter sun and summer shade. There is a big deck to the northeast with an insulated roof. The roof precools summer breeze before it enters the house. The northern edge of the deck is deliverately unroofed to provide a sunny winter sitting spot. We got light into the centre of the building with a lifted roof – I call it a “hat”. It’s as if a big hole was cut in a sloping roof, lifted up and filled with glass underneath. It works really well.
The house has been built to Nats (Pacific Coast Building) usual high standard and I’ll have to get some photos up ASAP.