A striking and fire-resistant Northern Territory house built from steel and glass that took out two major prizes in the 2002 national architecture awards illustrates how a building can embrace lightweight steel building technology to minimise its impact on the environment, while using solar power and rainwater collection to be self-sufficient in power generation and water supply.

Designed by Troppo Architects of Darwin, the Rozak House was awarded the RAIA national sustainable architecture award and a commendation in the residential category. Designed for émigré American IT specialist Mike Rozak, the house sprawls out in three modules across a ridge with an inside-out theme.

Troppo Architects’ Alison Shepherd says the idea of interconnected pavilions proposed by Troppo principal Adrian Welke appealed to Mike Rozak, who was keen to create a house that felt like a verandah, where some separation between living and sleeping areas was required.

Each pavilion is clad on the outside with corrugated sheeting made from Zincalume from BHP Steel which also met Rozak’s concerns about fire resistance. Zincalume steel is also used to create the pitched roofs which are designed to vent hot air out through the roof space by convection.

The steel theme is carried into the interior with the ceilings and walls made from Zincalume. “By repeating the outside textural element on the inside, the sense is reinforced that there is not much difference between indoors and outdoors,” Shepherd says. “The lightness, sheen and reflectivity of the Zincalume steel also assist in getting natural light into the house and reflecting heat back outside.

“The perforated nature of much of the sheeting increases natural ventilation, allows views through the material to the outside and still retains daytime privacy.”

Source: Building Products News.