Nelson House


Location | Wright, ACT

Completed | November 2013

EER | 7.8 stars

Area | 100m²

Builder | Jigsaw Housing

Images | Rod Vargas


Modular approach, singular home

Nelson House expresses the personality of its occupants and, in keeping with their brief, feels spacious, airy and full of natural light.

Our pre-designed and tested series of living, sleeping and utility modules formed the starting point for the home’s layout. These were configured to make the most of the home’s site and orientation, and then adapted to suit the client’s preferences – from materials and finishes to appliances and optional inclusions. The result is a highly energy-efficient, cost-effective and comfortable home.

The open plan kitchen and dining area opens on to an outdoor entertaining space and garden that runs the length of the northern facade, seamlessly connecting the inside with the outdoors. Customised joinery throughout the home, including a clever study nook, maximises every space. And street-facing timber-slatted panels integrate the entry gate and carport while providing much-needed protection from the western sun.

Importantly, the client – who attended our first community forum on sustainable, affordable housing – was involved at every step of the design process: choosing preferred modules, tailoring fittings and finishes, and selecting inclusions to improve the energy efficiency of her home.


Key features

2 bed, 2 living & 1 bath

450m²  relatively flat site with north to the side

Single carport (integrated with front facade)

Customised joinery including hall storage and integrated study desks

Floor finishes: concrete, tiles and carpet

North facing pergola/entertainment area

Tailored to the site and designed to our client's brief and budget using our Light House Modular approach


EER 7.8 stars

Aluminium-PVC composite double glazing

R1 insulated concrete slab

R2.5 insulation to exterior walls

R1.5 insulation to internal walls

R5 insulation to the roof space

Air leakage minimised, well-sealed building envelope

Passive solar heat gain supplemented with small reverse cycle air conditioning unit

Ceiling fans and cross ventilation for cooling

Evacuated tube solar hot water

Rainwater tank

The first thing I would like to say is I love my house! It is a real pleasure to live in a house that works so well and is so comfortable. The recent very hot weather was a real test and coming home after a 40+ degree day at the end of a week of 40 degree temperatures, my house was a very reasonable 25 degrees inside before turning on any cooling. I have been in my home for 3 months now and it still puts a smile on my face!
— The client | Elspeth