Windows and sliding doors from the AWS Thermal Heart range by Architectural Window Systems were specified for the Shipley House, a new solar-passive, energy-efficient home in the Blue Mountains.

A region of great beauty, the Blue Mountains also faces extremes of temperature. Looking to build their dream home on a large bushland block in Blackheath, the Queensland couple wanted to bring the open, breezy Queensland-style they loved with them into the new dwelling. However, the challenge was to adapt their preferred design to a completely different climate that experienced wild temperature extremes from sweltering summer to frosty winter.

The brief for the architect, Ingrid Donald Architect was to design a solar-passive, energy-efficient home with versatile spaces, and easy access to the outdoors. The couple also sought to create a strong connection to the surrounding bush landscape while providing protection from the elements.

Taberner Glass was brought into the project to handle the extensive use of glass throughout the new home. The AWS Thermal Heart range was the obvious choice thanks to the high levels of insulation and exceptional thermal protection offered. Aesthetically, the clean lines and solid frames, combined with the need for fewer mullions and transoms, beautifully complement the overall design and provide uninterrupted views across the landscape.

The AWS range also plays an essential role in the successful creation of an energy-efficient dwelling that utilises the benefits of passive solar gain in the freezing winter. The Thermal Heart windows and sliding doors seal exceptionally well, and can stand up to the region’s strong winds and cold draughts. The easy-to-clean casement windows also allow for welcome ventilation in warmer weather.

Being bushland country, the windows needed to be rated BAL 40; all of the AWS systems chosen for the home met the region’s stringent bushfire certification standards, allowing the architect to incorporate dramatic areas of floor-to-ceiling glazing into the design.

Image: The Blue Mountains home (Photographer: Tom Ferguson)