Nowadays, people start to consider not only the function of a house as a living place but also its interaction with the environment. A sustainable house or Eco house is a new aim of the owners as well as designers to build or renovate their houses. Ilma Groove, a project of Austin Maynard Architect, is an extension house that is built with the orientation of a sustainable home.
Eco house design
From the outside, the remarkable shape of Ilma Groove is worth a second look. It is built in a box shape with a brick cladding exterior. The designer went with this plan as it limits the adaptation to the hipped roof of the old house. Then, the extension house can stand alongside the old one without demolishing any part of its rear.
As for a key to a sustainable home, this eco-house was constructed in an open plan design to maximize passive solar efficiency. The kitchen and dining room under the old house are connected to the living room in the box house. With large glass doors facing the backyard, the outdoor space is maximized and becomes a natural extension of the living space. Therefore, the sun can be harvested at a maximum level.
Along with the sustainable home project, materiality becomes a prominent consideration. To build the box house, the designer decided to use recycled materials. The bricks of the demolished ‘lean-to’ were reused on-site in a different shape or contour.
Eco Design with Low-cost Maintenance
For the indoor flooring materials, the designer goes for the locally sourced bluestone. This way does not shorten the distances only meaning reducing CO2, but the bluestones also act as a thermal mass.
When it is winter, the bluestones absorb the low sun and passively heat the house. On the other hand, the bluestones do not get any contact with the summer sun and become the cooling mass in the hot months.
Moreover, the windows and doors use LowE coated double glazed which are able to retain the heat in the winter and reduce heat penetration in the summer. Well, these ways help reduce the need for an air conditioner and heater.
Architect: Austin Maynard Architects
Completion: December 2010
Photograph: Kevin Hull