our aim

"Consume less – Consume wisely"

We endeavour to help our clients consume less, consume more wisely, and to allow for future generations to do the same.

"Man takes a positive hand in creation whenever he puts a building upon the earth beneath the sun.  If he has birthright at all, it must consist in this: that he, too, is no less a feature of the landscape than the rocks, trees, bears or bees of that nature to which he owes his being"
Frank Lloyd Wright

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"

Our common future, Brundtland 1987

buildability

The act of building involves a great deal of energy consumption.  Transportation of materials contributes significantly in the overall energy consumed in building.  Good building practices aim to reduce the number of deliveries, the amount of material and the amount of waste.  Locally produced materials, construction methods, and local labour are essential in reducing energy consumption. Modular systems based on supplier standard sizing reduces off cuts. Elevated floor plates and pad footings reduce soil disturbance.

Sustainable, low-impact materials are:

  • Non-toxic
  • Recycled and recyclable
  • Renewable
  • Local
  • Standard sizes, modular, pre-cut (reduces waste)
  • Certified wood
  • Durable and long lasting

passive systems

Passive systems involve adopting a plan layout and building form that minimise the need for heating and eliminate the need for cooling in the Sydney climate.

A cool building in summer is achieved by limiting eastern, northern and western sun penetration into the dwelling.  This is achieved through the use of shading devices, and reflective insulation.  It is possible to design shading devices that block out summer sun, yet allow winter sun, these devices do not have to be adjustable due to the fact that the sun is much higher in the sky in summer than it is in winter.  Utilising Solar angle calculations can achieve effective design solutions with great accuracy.

In addition, orientating the building's openings to best capture cooling summer breezes from the east and south, encouraging cross ventilation.  Thermal mass floors and walls absorb heat, releasing it at night, where cross ventilation is used to flush the warm air out of the building.

A warm building in winter is achieved by orientating the house to maximise solar penetration, best orientation to the north and east. Thermal mass in the ceiling, and bulk insulation in the walls retain the warm air in the building at night.  (this may not be necessary given the buildings function). Openings need to be well sealed, as they are potentially a great source of heat loss.

active systems

Active systems are devices that can be incorporated into the dwelling to either further reduce energy consumption, to supply renewable clean energy, and to recycle waste.

These include:

  • Solar and wind powered systems.
  • On site water re-use, ie. greywater and blackwater purification systems, to flush toilets, and to water plants.
  • Compost Toilets (waterless)
  • Rainwater tanks to collect and store water for re-use.
  • Stormwater detention systems to reduce runoff.

Most of these systems are costly and take many years before the initial investment is paid off.


material choice

Materials should be selected based on their energy consumption to produce the material, their thermal properties, longevity, and renewability.

Recycled materials, or materials that can be recycled in the future have the lowest overall energy consumption to produce and the greatest longevity.


Using Format