MM House 2017

MM House
Northcote 3070
Housing Type
Standalone House
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms
Owner Builder
Project Type
New Build
EME Design
Opening Hours
10am to 4pm

At first glance MM House’s striking forms and spaces are uncompromisingly distinct and contemporary. However, the more interesting story is that the geniuses of the design comes from the sites constraints, local context and a focus on multivalent sustainability.

During the tours the owner/designer will be presenting key aspects of this unique family home including;

– The process of design with a focus on resilience and flexibility

– The way the building has been designed to evolve over time

– The process of building an air tight home

– Hybrid approach to insulation and thermal mass

– Demonstration of the Heat Recovery Ventilation system

– Monitored results of the thermal performance of the building (in conjunction with Melbourne University)

– Monitored results of energy consumption and production

– Water saving measures

– And other learnings.

Comprising of three volumes, each having a morphed gable form uniquely optimised to capture light, views and passive solar. Whilst mediated by the constraints of the heritage overlay and respecting the amenity of the neighbouring homes. The gable inspired profile echo’s the charm of its surrounding heritage bungalows.

A multivalent approach to sustainability guided all aspects of this project. After careful analysis of the existing 1978 beser block home it was evident that renovating the existing was not feasible at a number of levels, in particular building envelop, spatial planning, orientation. However, an important decision was taken to re-use all of the existing strip foundations and concrete slab. This was the chosen path, as it saved massive amounts of embodied energy, it also dovetailed with keeping the build foot-print compact further energising the path to an efficient floor plan.

Daily rituals, seasonal solar patterns, view corridors, are synthesized. Moving through the home, one is presented with a multitude of ever changing moments, subtly choreographed, offering un-expected glimpses within and beyond, place for contemplation, and connection to the world outside.

The strong architectural intent has been equally match with commitment to creating an efficient home constructed of low embodied energy materials. Despite the site constraints the home is flooded with winter sun, and achieves an 8 star energy rating. In addition, the building envelop is within the realms of Passive House Standards including air tightness.

The MM House is made from rammed earth, lightweight construction and timber cladding both internally and externally. It works to maximise the benefit of thermal mass within the structure and embraces crossflow, heat stack ventilation.

Designed to potentially become autonomous – rainwater, grey water, solar, food production have been factored in to design of the home and landscape.

This carefully crafted single dwelling caters for changing family dynamics by creating two adjustable and adaptive zones allowing for future transformation into autonomous living quarters; a home not just for now, but one to be grown into.

Ticket sales are now closed for this tour. A $5 donation per person to go to the ATA to support SHD in the future. Children under 12 free.

To find out more about EME Design read their latest newsletter here.


Energy rating type
First Rate
Energy rating
8 stars
Universal Design Features
Disability access
Adaptive design
Building Type
Lightweight construction
Rammed earth
Recycled and reused
Sustainable materials
Australian hardwoods - Blackbutt, wormy chestnut, Yellow stringy bark, Recycled tallowood and redgum, Radiata pine plywood, radiata pine framing, eco concrete,
Healthy home materials
Low VOC water based stains together with Low VOC oils
Windows and Doors
Double glazing
Low-e, films
Clerestory windows
Window/door materials and coverings
Adustable Shading
Renewable energy
Solar PV grid connect
Water heating
Hot water heat pump
Passive heating cooling
Cross ventilation
Thermal chimney
Active heating cooling
Heat exchange ventilation system
Heat pump
Ceiling fans
Type: Bulk with roof blanket,
Rating: R6.5
Internal and external walls
Type: High Density bulk,
Rating: R5.0
Type: High Density bulk,
Rating: R4.0
Water harvesting and water saving
Stormwater management
Low flow shower heads
Low flow taps
Drip irrigation
Under deck tanks
Energy efficiency
Efficient lighting
Draught proofing
Efficient appliances
Energy monitoring
Drip irrigation
Water wise plants
Edible garden
Native plants
Green roofs
Council property located in:
Connected to gas?