Style & sustainability

Issue 29 Words: Verity Campbell Photography: Nick Stephenson
Elwood, VIC
  • Tim and Edwina’s rebuild delights passers by with its angular timber facade, and its occupants with its 8.2 Star House Energy Rating.
  • An open deck runs along the northern and western edges. Adjustable shade blinds and sails can be extended to provide shade when necessary.
  • Phase change materials in this west-facing master bedroom’s ceiling and walls help maintain a comfortable temperature in extreme heat.
  • The concrete slab acts as a heat sink as it soaks up winter sun from through large double-glazed and timber-framed windows.

Sustainable design is on show and hidden in the detail of this urban Melbourne home.

An angular timber facade and a Japanese-inspired Zen garden greet visitors as they arrive at the zigzagging fence of this new bayside Melbourne home. But the home’s delights and environmentally sustainable design details are revealed as you move inside.

The entry funnels through a hallway, lined on one side with enviable floor-to-ceiling storage and a guest bedroom, bathroom and roomy laundry with a suspended drying rack. Finally the hallway opens onto an open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, expanding to the full width of the home. Solitary pendant lights hang over a timber-clad kitchen island bench. A grass-green rug and comfy low lounge soften the polished concrete slab. A stairway with feature masonry links this level with upstairs. Picture windows and sliding doors frame the garden.

At every glance this home accomplishes owners Tim and Edwina’s goal of combining style and sustainability.

The new dwelling replaces the 1930s brick home the couple had bought some years earlier. They had always planned to renovate, and after mopping up the near irreparable damage of severe storms in 2011 their minds were made up. They decided to start anew, inspired to emulate the older, thermally comfortable elements of their original home. They also wanted to ensure their new home would withstand the challenges of a changing climate.

The couple enlisted Sunpower Design to help create a four-bedroom, two-storey home to withstand booming utility prices, storms and relentless heat waves. It was a challenge Sunpower partners Andreas and Judy relished.

“The important thing when designing a sustainable house in the Melbourne climate used to be about heating load, but now summer load is becoming more important” says designer Andreas. “It’s getting harder to cool down a passive house.” Luckily, he adds, new materials and technologies can achieve better performance and are becoming more affordable.

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Cover of Issue 29
You can read more about Style & sustainability in Issue 29 of Sanctuary magazine.

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Andreas and Judy Sederof, Sunpower Design


Martin Brothers


New build


Elwood, VIC




House 268 sqm
Garage 60 sqm

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