Merri Home 2024

House Notes – Merri Home

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.

Sustainability Features

Years Open
2024
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Efficient appliances
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Deciduous planting around house
      External planting
      Heat recovery ventilation system
      Passive solar designed home
      Shading
      Thermal chimney
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
      Split system airconditioner
    • Water heating:
    • Hot water heat pump
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Stormwater management
      Low flow shower heads
      Low flow taps
      Drip irrigation

    • Average water consumption per day:
    • 67L
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • 11,000 litre swat tanks under deck
    • Water harvesting and saving
    • entire roof feeds tanks
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Adjustable Shading
      Deciduous tree/vegetation
      Eaves
      External window hoods/surrounds
      Shutters
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Sustainable materials:
    • Passive House construction Air tight layer PH windows Thermal bridge Isolation Heat Recovery Ventilation
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Aggregate
      Railway sleepers
      Sleepers
      Steel frame
      Timber
INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
      Internal walls
      External walls
      Floor
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R5
    • Floor Type:
    • Bulk - glass wool
    • Floor Rating:
    • R5
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Insulated panels
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R1.6
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R2.5
    • External Walls Rating:
    • 2 x R2.5 = R5
    • External Walls Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Solar PV grid connect
    • Size of PV system:
    • 5Kw inverter 6kw of panels
    • Average Daily Energy Consumption:
    • 12Kw
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Estimate of annual savings:
    • 1200
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 196
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Lightweight construction (timber frame)
      Metal (Zincalume)
      Rammed earth
      Timber
    • Window and Door Types
    • Awning
      Casement
      Clerestory windows
      Double glazing
      Low-e, films
      Sliding windows/doors
      Tilt and turn
    • Universal design accessability
    • Adaptive design
      Multi-generational
      Universal access
    • Universal Design Features
    • 80cm minimum door opening width
      Hobless showers
      Lever handles for doors (no knobs)
      Minimum 110cm wide hallways
      Semi recessed basins
      Shower head on rail for various heights
      Slip resistant flooring
      Space around toilets for ease of access in wheelchairs
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 4
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 2
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Drip irrigation
      Edible garden
      Local indigenous plants
      Orchard
      Organic
      Permaculture
      Native plants
      Wicking beds
      Worm farm
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Pickle and preserve food
      Recycle
      Repair
      Swap with friends and neighbours
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Automated ventilation system
      Cabinet design to minimise dust collection
      Chemical free cleaning products used
      Cross flow ventilation
      Formaldehyde free cabinets
      Heat recovery ventilation (HRV)
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural fibre furnishings
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
      VOC free paints/sealer/varnish
Location
Northcote VIC 3070
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Owner Builder
    • Designer
    • EME Design

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