Franklin House


Location | Franklin, ACT

Date completed | October 2010

EER | 8 stars

Area | 136m²

Builder | Jigsaw Housing

Images | Ben Wrigley

Awards | 2011 Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter: Sustainable Architecture Award - Winner

2012 ACT Sustainable Cities: Residential Buildings Award - Highly Commended

2011 HIA GreenSmart Energy Efficiency Home of the Year - Highly Commended

Featured | Book - 100 Canberra Houses, 2013 (House 99)


A small house built of big ideas

Set on a small 30m x 11m block in a newly developed residential area, the 135m² house performs well above the expectations. Designed for maximum flexibility, the three-bedroom house can be divided into smaller spaces of activity or opened up to give continuity throughout the entire home.

Multifunction spaces, clean lines and a smart layout give it a sense of space, light and simplicity. A key element of the design is its seamless integration with the outdoors. Full-size bi-fold doors open on to private, landscaped courtyards, extending the living spaces well beyond their stated footprint.


Key features

2 bed, 2 living & 2 bathrooms

330m² flat site with north to the side

Double garage with laundry incorporated

Customised joinery including robes, generous kitchen and efficient study

Floor finishes include; concrete and tiles

Strategically placed courtyards to the north open up the living areas

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


Recycled red brick used as entry feature

High performance PVC double-glazing

R1 insulated concrete slab (waffle-pod construction plus vertical edge insulation)

R2.5 insulation to exterior walls

R5 insulation to the roof space

Internal walls also insulated to prevent noise transfer and further enhance zoning within the house

All gaps around window reveals and doors were sealed with expandable foam, and penetrations through the plasterboard lining of the house were minimised

Passive solar heat gain supplemented with hydronic heating via radiator panels

Ceiling fans and cross ventilation only forms of cooling needed

Motorised awning windows are placed on the high side of the raked ceilings to allow the home to securely purge hot air on summer nights

Solar hot water

1.5 kW solar photovoltaic system generates more electricity than the house uses


This prototypical display home is innovative, entrepreneurial and inspiring in its quest to provide first time buyers with an alternative to the standard market offering in speculative housing
— Architecture Awards Jury