71 Flinders St, Mount Hawthorn WA

This house was designed on a tight infill site, next to an existing Federation house, and formed part of a 3 lot subdivision. The site sloped significantly from street to laneway, and the building design responded to the change in level by stepping the foundation, resulting in higher ceiling levels in the living spaces at the back. A solar courtyard ‘notch’ is created in the north facade, corresponding with the main stairway of the home. Here, large windows allow light from the north to spill into the house and warm up the limestone thermal wall that sits adjacent to the straight run of stairs. An aluminium louvered shade sits above these windows, ensuring that the summer sun, higher in the sky, does not enter. Operable awning windows are located at the peak of the roof to allow passive cooling through stack ventilation up the stairwell. The notch also allows four rooms of the house (over 2 storeys) to achieve windows on two sides, greatly facilitating cross ventilation. No airconditioning is specified for the house, and most rooms have ceiling fans. The house achieves a 7 star rating under NatHERS. An additional innovation of this house is the detached garage that has been constructed with a 3 course concrete slab for the roof, designed to carry the loads of a vegetable garden, which effectively gains the owners an additional 45m2 of useful outside area. This house was a Finalist in 2009 for the HIA Greensmart ‘Energy Efficiency’ award.