The Challenges

Located between the main Northern Freight train line and a busy local road in Thornleigh in Sydney’s Upper North Shore, this old cottage needed an effective solution from the constant noise pollution. The proposed renovations also needed to consider the constrained area of the property that would ultimately limit construction space, wall density and building size.

Envirotecture director Andy Marlow worked with Bondor to convert this defunct cottage into a compact two-storey home that was Sydney’s first certified Passivhaus – a sustainable property constructed from holistic design principles to reduce the need for outsourced heating and cooling. 

The Solution

Designed with sustainability and quality of living at the forefront, the cottage was transformed into an award-winning two-storey haven with significantly improved thermal and acoustic insulation using MetecnoSpan PIR roofing.

MetecnoSpan also provided an airtight seal so that the property’s reliance on heating and cooling was significantly reduced, thus decreasing expenditure on temperature regulation, and functioning more sustainably. In line with Passivhaus principles, the exceptional thermal performance of MetecnoSpan contributed to the home’s insulating properties to cope in summer and winter conditions.

“MetecnoSpan has superior insulation values for the panel’s thickness and better sustainability credentials than alternative products,” Marlow said.

“We were constrained by the block size so the design needed to be compact, hence a two-storey design.

“Large cranes would have been difficult given the small lot size so lightweight roof panels were desirable, which MetecnoSpan provided.

“The MetecnoSpan panels also create an airtight seal, which is a key factor in Passivhaus construction.

“The builder also benefitted from the speed of construction greatly. The roof panels were installed in half a day.

“The completed roof looks good and was easy to make airtight. The insulation and airtightness aid in providing the acoustic benefits of the home,” he added.

As the high-performance panels were delivered pre-constructed, the assembly was conveniently time and space efficient to deliver an exceptionally healthy, comfortable, and sustainable home.

Images by Brandee Meier