Far North Of The State Requires A Different Design Of Home

Far North Of The State Requires A Different Design Of Home

Western Australia Minister for Lands Brendon Grylls

New Generation Of Climate-Responsive Housing On Display In Collie

Victor P Taffa

A New Type of Housing, designed specifically to respond to South-West climatic conditions, was officially opened in Collie today by Lands Minister Brendon Grylls.

The Wing House, South-West winner of LandCorp’s REAL Challenge (Regional Environmental Affordable Living), showcases how high-performing climate-responsive design can be achieved without the price often associated with architectural innovation.

“The REAL Challenge competition was conceived in response to the State Government’s commitment to finding solutions to address rising energy and water costs, through homes that are better designed and built to cope with their local climates.” Mr. Grylls said.

“The competition sought to bring architects and builders together in a business partnership to design a three-bedroom, two-bathroom climate responsive home within reasonable pricing.  This objective had previously been considered difficult, particularly in regional areas, mainly due to escalating building costs and lack of architectural cost-competitive templates.”

The Wing House, designed by Copraxis Architects and built by Samson Homes, is packed with outstanding environmental and design inspired initiatives including:

  • An internal water wall not only collects and stores rainwater from the gutters, but also works to heat the bedrooms in winter and keep them cool in summer;
  • The ‘wing’ design of the house has been defined by the sun angles in the South-West and the prevailing winds.  In winter, solar energy warms the home, while in summer the glazing to the courtyard is in constant shade, which together with cross ventilation of breezes provide for a cool and comfortable internal temperature;
  • The home also features one of the first domestic uses in Australia of efficient roof-mounted Windpods, which together with solar cells, provide energy to the home.

As Western Australia is so climatically diverse, a different type of climate-responsive home is needed in the far North of the State, so the REAL Challenge competition also called for designs specifically suited to northern regions.

The Kimberley winner of the competition, the K1 home, designed by SIA Architects and built by Northern Aspect Construction, responds to the environmental conditions of Kununurra.

Like its South-West counterpart, the architecturally-creative K1 includes a wide number of innovative measures to help reduce both construction costs and ongoing energy costs, while at the same time offering style and great comfort of living.

Both homes are available for public inspection at weekends.