Hughes House


Location | Hughes, ACT

Date completed | September 2013

EER | 6 stars (started at 3)

Area | 183m² (no additional floor area added)

Builder | Jigsaw Housing

Images | Rod Vargas


Re-thinking layout

Wanting to retain the original character of the house, we worked with the shell of the existing building to reconfigure its internal spaces, rather than increase its footprint.

Improvements to layout and circulation meant that while the size of some rooms was reduced, the overwhelming impression is one of expansion, openness and light.

In practical terms this meant moving the study and laundry, and repositioning the dining room to be closer to the kitchen, which was in turn opened up to the outside deck with large glass doors. The introduction of new joinery throughout, as well as new bathrooms, updated the interior and brought a new sense of liveable, workable space.

Despite an overall modest reduction in glazing, more light streams through the house due to the new floor plan and the strategic re-placement of windows.

The temperature remains comfortable year-round with new hydronic heating replacing the former ducted gas system, and ceiling fans in living areas and bedrooms. Heat loss has been markedly reduced due improved insulation and the use of magnetite secondary double-glazing, which clips on to the existing windows’ steel frames.


Key Features

Renovation: floor plan reconfigured to improve light, warmth and connection to the outdoors, while improving overall energy efficiency with the existing footprint

777m² sloping site with orientation of north to the side

Customised joinery throughout

Floor finishes include; timber, tiles and carpet

Living spaces connect to the northern outdoor covered deck and entertainment area

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


High levels of insulation retrofitted to ceilings, walls and floors

PVC double-glazed windows retrofitted to rear of house

Existing steel framed windows facing the street fitted with secondary glazing

Gas-fuelled hydronic radiator panel heating

Ceiling fans

LED lighting

We had a dream run. Our project ran on time and within budget and we were completely satisfied with the outcome. We attribute this to the unique and well-blended combination of architect, energy efficiency consultant and builder, as well as the professional, honest and open way they conduct their business. They strive for excellence and their enthusiasm for their work is contagious!
— The Clients | Yvonne & Jeff