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Green Smart Magazine : 2009_new
This year Victoria experienced its hottest temperatures on record. But you wouldn't have known it if you were inside Third Ecology's Barwon Heads beach houses. 'When it was 45 degrees outside, it didn't get any hotter than 26 degrees downstairs in here,' Third Ecology's Mark Sanders says. The hot weather provides an even greater impetus to maintain ecologically sustainable architecture, which is precisely what Third Ecology specialises in and what the Bar won Heads project delivers. The coastal town on the mouth of Victoria's Barwon River is home to many holiday makers, and its architecture is mostly informal, comprising beach shacks made from readily accessible materials. This project comprises two, two-storey dwellings on a brownfield/infill site, replacing a 1950s fibre cement sheet beach house. It demonstrates that a high level of sustainability can be achieved in a higher density, multi-residential project. With a FirstRate energy rating of 37 points and 42 points respectively for beach house one and two, the house is miles ahead with its rating in excess of six stars (19). Given that two-storey dwellings struggle to reach five stars, the project provides an even more impressive demonstration of its overall effectiveness. Its most quirky feature is its striking lop-sided element, designed to create interest from the street level. 'The upper level leans as a tilted façade rather than being horizontal,' Mark says. 'My children wondered whether the floor was slanted -- because the roofline and the façade are!' The unique design is specific to the site, as is the tiny amount of space Third Ecology and their team had to work with -- just 520 square metres. This unusual beach house complex is proof that a high level of sustainability in a higher density, multi-residential project can be achieved. cool +quirky story > Annie Reid smart essentials • double glazing • Ampy 'Ecometers' monitor electricity, gas and water consumption in 'real time' • filtered and sterilised rainwater • polished concrete slab floor • energy-efficient appliances. smarthomes 56 greensmart 2009