Aranda House


Location | Aranda, ACT

Date completed | May 2016

EER | 8.1 stars

Area | 152.4m²

Builder | 35 Degrees Pty. Ltd

Images | Ben Wrigley


Keeping it real with the Jones'

This funky little family of five came to us with a great block in Aranda, an existing brick veneer home, and an intent to make the best use of their backyard. The solution? Extend the existing home to the rear to create a co-living opportunity: two families living on the same block. For Shannon and Grant, creating a home that was wholesome and honest, facilitated play, family growth and supported the life-cycle for a young family, was paramount.


Engaging Light House to design our much loved home will always be one of our best life decisions. From concept sketch to completion, we thoroughly enjoyed the process of working with super friendly architects who shared our vision of creating an energy efficient, flexible family home - built to embrace both Canberra’s climate and our wishes. We loved our architects’ intuition, design flair and innovative ideas and insight. We are forever grateful to live in a house that is warm in winter and cool in summer - the perfect place to be all year round!
— The clients

The Modular system affords this home functional, efficient spaces with a streamlined design process. Modest bedrooms, clever storage, priority of communal space, multi-use circulation and a simple rectangular form means this clever home hits the sustainability trifecta: socially sustainable, economically sustainable and environmentally sustainable. It’s all about family, minimalist living, and connection to the outdoors. Through clever articulation of entries and views, the two households maintain their privacy effectively, while enjoying the community warmth of co-living.

The Jones’ were an absolute delight to work with; we hope their home inspires many others to consider living more densely and to pursuing a simple life.


Key features

4 bed, 2 living & 2 bath

900m² flat site with orientation of north to the side

Extension to create secondary residence at the rear of the property, original home retained

Large utility area for easy storage, laundry and mass shoe-removal

Customised joinery including robes, kitchen, study and hallway storage

Simple link between existing and new

Multipurpose space, and adjoining ensuite, designed to be the master bedroom in the future

Floor finishes include; concrete, tiles and carpet

Northern facing timber deck and entertainment area,  with built in seat

Funky timber casement panels along the first floor hallway

Tailored to the site and designed to our client's brief and budget



EER | 8.1 stars

High levels of insulation in walls (R2.5) and ceilings (R5)

Burnished concrete flooring with R1 insulation to slab edge and underside

Thermal mass of slab used to regulate internal temperatures

Vapour permeable building wrap to control moisture and reduce air movement past insulation

Testing to ensure building envelope integrity: thermographic inspection of insulation and fan depressurisation to ensure airtightness

8.7 air changes per hour at 50Pa (typical Canberra house 15-25)

Window and eave sizes optimised through scientific analysis and collaboration with architect

Small electric radiator panels for heating, ceiling fans for cooling

Thermally broken aluminium composite, and timber, double glazed  windows throughout

All communal/living spaces have northern glazing