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Two architects renovated a post-war family home and studio on a sloping block opposite Brisbane’s Enoggera Creek, mitigating flood and bushfire attack risks through its lifted profile and resilient design. The renovation raised the house from NatHERS 0 Stars to 8.4 Stars through careful planning, materials selection and energy transformation.
The Brisbane City Plan 2014 was developed following the January 2011 floods, raising the minimum habitable floor level of new residences in the vicinity of waterways. Addressing these requirements created generous undercroft space with shaded welcoming and entertaining zones. Flood corridor modelling confirmed the design’s compliance and resilience, with freely draining undercroft spaces including concrete floors and walls of blockwork and FC sheeted horizontally with GPO’s mounted above 1500mm.
A modest ground level entrance room launches the central stairs allowing ventilation stack effect, passively cooling the house. By creating interactive building edges through new verandas, internal outdoor rooms with stacking feature windows and bridges alongside voids, the envelope responds to the environment, connects with the natural surrounds, and transitions public and private space.
Three decks provide over 30% of the total floorplate, with a variety of spaces for accessing year-round outdoor living. 10 ceiling fans encourage cooling air movement, complementing the extensive louvre windows. Angled skylights, sunshading hoods and selective use of Low-E glass enables generous protected views to surrounding parkland.
The PV array and Powerwall battery provide over 75% of the electricity, back-up resilience, and reduced peak grid demand. The street gas connection was removed, with hot water via the roof-top solar system. There’s no clothes drier as two clothes lines provide weather-exposed and undercover year-round options.
The edible garden, including a bee hive and chicken coop, is irrigated by the rainwater tank which is also plumbed to the toilets, washing machine and rooftop for solar panel wash-downs.