Kim and Colin came to us with a tight budget and a 1920’s seaside timber cottage which needed some serious reconfiguring. The old place was typical of the era and way too dark, too hot in summer and way too cold in winter so they wanted to create an green and sustainable building that also provided better access to the rear garden, with the kitchen and dining area adjacent to it.


The best way forward was to re-build the rear section of the house to accommodate our new design. The rear of the house faces due north, which is excellent for passive design, however the fall of the land meant the house kind of squatted into the site. To overcome this challenge, we designed cathedral ceilings with gable windows for the new rooms. This increased the height of the space and improved natural light and passive solar gain, while shading devices provided protection for hot summer days. Cross-ventilation was an important design element to maximise the cooling effect of the summer north-easterly breeze, while high quality insulation was also added to maintain year-round thermal efficiency. Low ‘e’ glass was used for all windows, giving an efficiency improvement of around 30-40% over standard glass. All water fixtures and appliances are highly WELS rated, which contribute to minimum water usage, while rainwater is collected and stored in a 4,000 litre water tank, then re-used in toilets, washing machine and garden. Best-practice low and zero VOC products, low energy use lighting and appliances, and recycled and reclaimed timber was also used throughout this sustainable build to maximise health and environmental benefits.

 A 4kW photo voltaic system adds to the improved efficiency and sustainablility of the completed project.