All our projects have deep connections to their locations. The Great Southern and South West regions of Western Australia offer beautiful temperate climates with mild summers and winters. Each individual site is unique and our design process explores the climatic and cultural heritage of each site. It is very important to us that the local conditions and context are matched with the specific requirements of the client. For us good architecture is not only context specific but also transcends context, contributing to and ultimately enhancing the site.
We utilize passive solar principles throughout our designs to minimise the reliance on active heating and cooling systems. Building orientation is the key to maximising solar gain in winter and minimising solar penetration in summer. This is balanced against specific site responses such as maximising important views and providing external areas protected from the prevailing winds that engage with the surrounding environment.
Thermal mass elements such as masonry and concrete walls are generally implemented internally and combined with a low heat conductive external skin. This construction method acts like an ‘esky’ and ‘thermos’ in one, maximising the heating and cooling storage capabilities of the building. During summer cross ventilation paths enable the building to be cooled whenever the outside temperature drops below internal room temperature. Night purging in summer cools the thermal mass elements which in turn keep the building cool during the warmer temperatures of the following day. Specific sustainable measures include:
- High levels of thermal insulation
- Vapour permeable waterproofing membranes
- Appropriately located thermal mass
- High thermal performance glazing
- Sustainably sourced low embodied energy materials
- Low VOC finishes
- Passive ventilation
- Passive solar gain & prevention
- Solar PV and wind power generation systems
- Heat pump hot water systems
- Rainwater harvesting
Balanced with the sustainable measures are the traditional architectural qualities of form, space and proportion. We believe architecture that embraces creativity and explores the interplay of light, shadow and texture, will evoke an emotional appreciation and attachment in the user and the public which in turn creates extended building lifetimes and increased sustainability.