Passive Solar, Sustainable Design
The client’s brief was for a small but comfortable Passive Solar home to fit this unique rural site with its restricted building platform due to soft ground. My solution was to create a very compact yet interesting dwelling using the limited loft areas as mezzanine bedrooms to the main living that also enabled better heat circulation and the impression of more space.
Spaces under the loft are only 2.1m stud height so the ceiling was left off in the kitchen to create more volume here while making a feature of the floor joists texture. The Cook house is also entered in the ADNZ/Resene Regional Design Awards 2009.
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KANUKA 3BR - Full Set Drawings
The original 3 BR version of this popular passive solar cottage with mezzanine bedrooms. Materials are Black Onduline corrugated cladding with Macrocarpa timber facings to windows and corners.
I have produced a building that needs virtually no additional heating with early morning air temperatures being reported at 16 degrees even after frosty nights. The radiant heat of a passive solar home creates comfort levels that allow slightly lower air temperatures without discomfort because all internal materials are radiating heat as they cool down. The log fire installed as back up heating is hardly ever used, yet even here the adobe veneer mass wall stores excess heat from the fire for later use.
The two main north solar gain glazed openings are supplemented by three Velux roof windows which compensate for high sun angles in spring and early summer when solar gain is still needed to warm the thermal mass. These roof lites also enable views to be seen from the loft bedrooms and allow passive ventilation in summer.
Onduline corrugated cladding (a low cost recycled cardboard product) is used outside with local stained Larch timber facings at corners and windows etc. All building envelope elements are fully insulated with Nelson’s own Latitude ‘Woolbloc’ insulation while the 150 thick exposed concrete floor slab (for extra thermal mass) is insulated both under and around the perimeter with polystyrene. The floor is finished with Bio Paints ‘Stone Oil’. Locally produced cement-free adobe blocks make up the feature wall that contributes also to the thermal mass.
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