This was one of our first projects back in 1994. Thankfully the client was completely open to our philosophy of ecologically sustainable architecture. The brief was to refurbished the guttered c1888 two room worker’s cottage, and add additional living area in the form of a two storey rear extension.

The existing limestone and iron cottage was heritage listed due to its aesthetic value in representing a typical workers’ house of Victorian Georgian style architecture. In acknowledgement of the building’s significance, our approach aligned with the Burra Charter’s basic principles and procedures for the conservation of Australian heritage places. As a result the local government’s heritage assessment deemed the building have a high degree of integrity and authenticity.

The completed project included a custom design passive cooling system based on traditional middle eastern design principles. A controlled venting system was designed to draw naturally cooled air from the building’s shaded south into the home. This cooled air is then drawn up through vents in the first floor via a thermostat controlled roof top solar vent. The system sees cooled air replace the existing heated air, which is expelled out of the building’s roof. A greenhouse was also incorporated into the built form for winter heat exchange via other controlled vents. The project was completed with zero VOC paints, zero formaldehyde cabinetry, plantation timbers and recycled elements where feasible.

As part of this project, bradleycole also tried to get the first grey water recycling system approved in Western Australia (WA), but after gaining local government and the Water Authority’s support, it was stalled by the WA Health Department. At that time no one in the Health Department wanted to be responsible for approving a grey water recycling system, and after months of attempts this was conveyed to me privately. In any case, the project achieved a high eco-sustainable standard for it’s time, and still is a healthy contribution to our design philosophy. (Apologies for the lack of photos).