The energy performance of all building materials and an aesthetic reference to site locality has informed the design of this Perth holiday house by Iredale Pederson Hook Architects (IPH).

Nannup Residence incorporates a holistic approach to environmental sustainability that commences with the design of its access paths and concludes at the point of its long roof form.

A recent winner at the Western Australia Architecture Awards, IPH was commended by the jury for their use of robust agricultural materials and practical approach to designing for the building’s use.

“The use of robust agricultural materials, simple detailing and a practical approach to the provision of basic utilities provide a home that is confident, unpretentious, functional, sustainable and very much in harmony with the raw natural and pioneer spirit of the south west,” cited the jury.

The agricultural materials and practical approach referred to includes the recycled materials used for the property’s vehicle access path. The architects explained that the access path was a mandatory provision and required annual maintenance. The vehicle path to Nannup was crafted from gravel and sand quarried onsite, which enabled IPH to minimise the clearing of land.  The quarried areas were also immediately rehabilitated with plant species already existing on the site. 

This regermination commitment continues under the floor plate of the residence which floats above the ground on slender tilts. Like the access path, the area under the house has also been re-introduced with local flora species and will be fed by recycled grey water from the house.

The architects said that materials were selected on their embodied energy performance based on life cycle analysis. Colorbond cladding provides the building’s durable exterior core while inhabited areas include recycled Jarrah and recycled WA Blackbutt. Timber off-cuts were also re-used for storeroom linings. 

In terms of structure, the building comprises 90 per cent plantation pine,  most of the frame pre-fabricated offsite to minimise waste. Renewable plantation pine also features inside with most of the furniture, even the wall mounted light fittings, made from hoop pine plywood.

The long roof form is not just an aesthetic design element. Its length and shape also increases the capacity to capture rainwater, which is then re-used in the house. The grey water waste from the house is then recycled for watering gardens under the house.

A solar hot water system with back up instantaneous gas hot water systems are located close to areas of use and combined with rated fixtures and fittings to minimise the water waste throughout the home.

Photovoltaic cells power the Nannup Residence and the architects say that their client’s yearly consumption requirements are easily met by this system.

The finishing touches to the home were also environmentally conscious, with LED and compact fluorescent globes illuminating the building’s surfaces that are coated in generally Low Voc or oil. 

Nannup Residence will now compete for the title of Australia’s best residence at the AIA Australian Architecture Awards to be held in November.

Images: Peter Bennetts