Thorn Place House
Location | Curtin, ACT
Date completed | September 2011
EER | 7.5 stars (started at 2.5)
Area | From 177m² to 186m²
Builder | Jigsaw Housing
Images | Rod Vargas
Awards | 2012 Mervyn Willoughby Thomas Architecture Award for Renovation - Commendation
2014 ACT Sustainable Cities Award for Residential Buildings - Commendation
Adaptation was the key
Mindful of the future, the clients also wanted an adaptable home that could be split into two self-contained units – providing a potential source of income rather than becoming an empty nest.
To achieve these aims, we kept upstairs changes to a minimum and reworked the downstairs floor plan: relocating the kitchen to the former living area, expanding the lounge room space, and moving the upper storey stairs to the hallway.
Improved natural light, a full kitchen refit and the addition of an expansive deck, accessible by ramp, have vastly improved the home’s liveability.
New insulation, improved solar access and hydronic heating have delivered substantial improvements in energy performance: electricity consumption has halved, and the home has achieved an 8-star rating for the downstairs areas and a 7-star rating for the upper floor.
*This project was selected as the ACT Case Study in the Australian Government’s publication Your Home: Australia’s guide to environmentally sustainable homes and was featured in Sanctuary Magazine Issue 20 in late 2012. You can read a blog about how it copes in the summer heat here and the winter cool here.
Renovation | Floor plan reconfigured and ground floor ceiling increased to improve light, warmth and connection to the outdoors, while improving overall energy efficiency
Extension | 92m² added to existing footprint to increase size of living room and entry
826m² flat site with orientation of north to the street
Customised joinery throughout existing house and extension including 'close-away' study desk nooks
Large internal sliding doors allow separation of living areas
Designed with the ability to transform one family home into two separate units, each with their own northern terrace
Future planning for 'aging in place' with wheel chair access to the ground floor
Tailored to the site and designed to our client's brief and budget
Recycling/reuse of old stairs, kitchen and bathroom
Reuse of all white goods
High perfomance lead-free PVC windows (tilt and turn, tilt and slife mechanisms)
Recycled polystyrene insulation retrofitted to existing walls
Solar hot water
Water tanks plumbed to toilet and laundry
Low VOC finishes throughout