Winner of the sustainability category in the 2012 Houses Awards, the footprint of this home in Melbourne was actually reduced in size as part of an ingenious re-design by Make Architecture. The smaller spaces and multi-functional rooms were designed as part of a “move towards smaller, more flexible houses as an essential response to conserve resources and reduce carbon footprints” say the architects. “Our clients didn’t ask for a ‘house reduction’ we just showed them how we could fit the things they needed into a small amount of space.” External screening was used to provide flexibility and allow for the expansion and contraction of spaces as required. Built in joinery and daybeds also streamlined the footprint.
Sustainable features: The house reduction itself is the ultimate in environmentally responsible design, achieved by a careful analysis of the family’s needs. As a result, many multi-functional spaces were incorporated: the kitchen can work as study/library/second living room, with the function shifting depending on the time of day. Passive solar design principles were also at the heart of the planning and design. The house has been orientated for maximum solar gain. The pergola and screens provide protection in summer and let winter sun in. Cross ventilation has also been carefully considered with high louvres used to vent the house in summer. Other sustainable features include water collection, led lighting, insulation, fans and the use of FSC certified timbers.[photography by Peter Bennetts]