This striking Mt Martha home combines the latest building materials with innovative design to gain the most from a unique site. Given the property’s incredible views over Port Phillip Bay, the challenge was to open the house up to the spectacular northern aspect, maintaining internal comfort without sacrificing the sought-after high energy rating (NatHERS).

With such exceptional views, the glazed areas needed to have clarity and transparency. This would enable enjoyment of the aspect at any time of day across all seasons, without negatively impacting the overall thermal performance or occupant comfort.

The cool temperate climate zone and sheer volume of glazing demanded high-performance materials. Insulating the glazed areas was critical (demanding a very low U-Value); an equally important consideration was for natural light to flood the internal areas. High levels of visible light transmittance (VLT) were prominent on the design brief.


“High-performance glazing technology was crucial to capturing the magnificent vista with the expansive glazed areas. To achieve our goal, we specified double glazed Insulglass LowE Plus,” says head architect Craig Stoll.

Insulglass LowE Plus has the same look and clarity of regular clear glass, but with the exceptional benefit of superior insulation properties (expressed in a very low U-Value).

The glazing is supported by a range of passive design techniques, which worked together to further increase efficiency. “We installed external pergola sun screening as well, which complemented the glazing’s impressive thermal capabilities,” Craig notes. “With a combination of well-placed exterior screening and Softcoat LowE IGUs, the clients were able to gain every advantage of the view open to them without excessive heat gain or heat loss.”

“The external steel pergola with aluminium screening is horizontally structured, so that the sun penetrates the house during winter, providing a welcome level of radiant heat gain.”

“We achieved the opposite effect in summer, where the higher sun is prevented from getting in,” Craig adds. “This aspect of the design was so successful that it prevented the need for curtains or blinds during the day.”

The architects were deeply involved with the process of minimising energy consumption. “We worked closely with F2 Design, our ESD energy consultant,” Craig says. “They ensured we achieved a significant energy star rating, as requested by the client.”

The framing forms a complementary element of the home’s superb energy rating. “The AWS thermally broken aluminium framing system manufactured by Design Window Solutions made them a key partner to the Insulglass IGUs,” Craig explains. “The high-tech advanced framing system features a nylon heat barrier to prevent losses through thermal transmission. Without the LowE glass and thermally broken frames, we wouldn’t have received the outcome.”

Every element of the glazing was utilised. “We found the Insulglass LowE Plus glass units highly effective, as it offered solar performance during warmer months without calling for dark tinted or reflective glass,” Craig says. “This allowed us to admit an extremely high level of natural light, while still excluding UV radiation.”

The beneficial effects of Insulglass LowE Plus extend to the home’s interior spaces. “We used LowE Plus in the second storey’s internal passages as well,” Craig points out. “The high-level glazing admits sunlight right into the heart of the house, ensuring internal areas remain well-lit during daytime. Again, this was made possible by the LowE glass and thermally broken frames.”

With the design and quality of build gaining wide recognition, this Mt Martha masterpiece continues to astound.

Project details

Product: Insulglass LowE Plus


  • Outer: Clear Toughened Glass
  • Spacer: Argon Gas
  • Inner: LowE Plus Toughened Glass

Site Address: Mt Martha, VIC 3934

Fabricator: Design Window Solutions

Builder: Individual Builders

Architect: Stoll Long Architecture

Photos courtesy of Stoll Long Architecture