The Waverley Residence, a family home recently completed in Sydney’s suburb of Waverley, was created with sustainability at its core.
Its creators, Anderson Architecture, maintain that “a philosophy of humanising modern architecture and a connection to nature are important” in all of their projects, and this belief is certainly well represented in the Waverley Residence design.
The residence is a thermally efficient house developed through the use of computerised thermal modelling. It has low heating and cooling requirements, using passive solar techniques, internal thermal mass and natural ventilation to maintain a comfortable indoor environment, leading to an 8 star thermal performance certification.
The big challenge for the architects was to capture natural light despite the site's restrictions, which include a great deal of western exposure and a large existing building to the north.
"The primary challenge involved maximizing passive solar design by opening up to the northern sun without compromising the solar access of the house to the south or overexposing to the west,” said architect Simon Anderson.
“The large, open plan, living space is balanced with more private areas such as the family room to the front of the house, the secluded balcony off the master bedroom and the 1st floor terrace which is sheltered from the weather and a winter sun trap. These features have allowed for a versatile design that can accommodate and adapt to the family, while remaining a reasonable overall scale."
The house includes a long list of sustainable features such assolar hydronic floor heating, a two-storey central masonry wall that works as heat sink, and a solar collector. In addition, a precise thermal modelling system was used to determine optimum passive solar design.
Rainwater storage with a 14,000-litre capacity was located under the garage, while trees and grapevines were integrated as shading devices and an operable shading device consisting of a moving roof over the deck and external louvers was built.
Certain windows and skylights are controlled by C-Bus dimmers based on information from internal and external temperature sensors, and wind and rain sensors are set to provide active control to assist passive solar design.
The materials used are recycled timbers, double glazed low E windows and low VOC paints.
The result is an innovative use of technologies and eco-friendly materials that provide an exemplary sustainable residential dwelling, built using a passive and active design theory. This expands the potential of existing sites and the future of sustainability in residential architecture.
The house was a finalist for the Building Product News Sustainability Award, which aims to encourage and reward Australia's best practice in sustainable building and architecture design.