The Capricorn Loft is one of The Rural Building Company’s innovative and environmentally responsible buildings. The house shows off the benefits of integrated construction, using a mix of weatherboards and corrugated metal. The architectural outcome could only be achieved by using these methods. Even the trades building the house have been impressed and would not have considered a house of its type previously. It is a real testament to good design.
The house has also been designed for passive solar sun gain. This maximises the warming sun in winter and excludes the hot summer sun. Both the east and west walls have minimum glazing. We have e-vents on the roof to take out excessive roof heat over the bedroom wing areas. It also has very good cross ventilation control. The house rates at 5.5 stars even with extensive glazing.
We have been very careful with window placement and design so the building is presentable from every facet. Most homes only have one good side and the rest can look quite ugly when exposed on a large block. The upstairs studio has been placed either as a sitting or work area that can capture views through its additional height. It is possible to convert the library to a bathroom and move the master suite into this area. The balcony is large enough to sit an outdoor setting and even sufficient space for a barbeque.
The garage has been placed separately on the block offering quite a different access location into the foyer at the rear. This shows the possibilities of articulating the building on a larger block. A garage is available in a more accepted position on the side of the home allowing direct access through the side of the laundry.
The kitchen demonstrates an alternative outcome to the normally accepted layout. The kitchen layout was influenced by a celebrity chef to maximise the communication between the cook and the guests when one is entertaining. We have used Corian for the benchtops. The cupboards all have soft-closed hinges and the drawers pull themselves shut. It has a very functional downdraft exhaust which eliminates the need for a canopy. It is also equipped with an appliance cupboard and we have maximised storage with two pull out pantries.
The bathrooms again demonstrate alternatives to our standard specification, with the inset Medina bath, semi-recessed vanities and frameless shower screens.
The laundry also shows efficiency with the sliding doors to the linen and broom, space for the clothes basket and Caroma porcelain trough inserted into a large cupboard. A very clean floor space without the wasted area that comes from utilising the typical sliding glass laundry door.
Integrated construction has strong financial savings in clay soils by alleviating the necessity of brickwork to be braced with steel to absolve cracking. A framed house is basically a flexible building. On sandy or A-class sites it can also reduce the slab thickness so we are not wasting resources and achieving a more sustainable outcome. It also minimises the damage to the natural vegetation and also eliminates an enormous amount of waste.
As well as passive solar it also exploits the use of a black and grey water recycling system. Effectively it could be cut off from the sewerage system and provides almost potable water for reticulation. The average family pumps out 600-800 litres every day which is lost in the sewerage system. The toilet systems have been plumbed to use this recycled water.
We have also shown how the house can be lit using other lighting sources than incandescent globes. We are also using a gas boosted solar hot water system and in this case, there is no mains gas so it is connected to bottles. We are also using a Dux cold water recycling system. This stops the flow and wastage of water until the hot water starts to flow through the pipes. The cold water is recycled back into the hot water system.
We have chosen to demonstrate a full native coastal Waterwise garden. This is reticulated from the water treatment which can be supplemented by bore water or by roof rainwater runoff. All our plumbing is the highest star rating available commercially. For example, 4-star toilet and 5-star basin outlets.
Great housing doesn’t stop at good design. We have demonstrated with this home a number of environmentally responsible outcomes. At Rural Building Company we are conscious of the need to create better housing for the future. Talk to our people about how we can best assist you.