sustainable suburban splendour

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This hundred-year-old worker’s cottage in Yarraville was renovated with a meticulous approach to sustainability. We were fortunate to be engaged by clients Melbourne Vernacular who aspired to leave as small a carbon footprint to their new home as possible.

The clients took a mindful approach not only to the design of the building, but to the building process itself, requesting to keep as much of the original structure as was feasibly possible. The environmentally conscious owners painstakingly removed decayed and dilapidated parts of the house. They cleverly identified an opportunity to use the original red brick paving from the backyard as an internal feature wall and an external brick wall. Original Bluestone foundations and paving were reused for all front paving.

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The kitchen was made by local company Cantilever Interiors using reconstituted stone by Consentino made up of 80% recycled content with a low VOC finish. 

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Altereco Design  employed a savvy design approach that enables passive heating and cooling inside; not only does the aforementioned red brick wall create a pleasing aesthetic,  it performs as thermal mass for the building. When it came to the great outdoors, “water wise” and native plants were used in the garden beds - all of this topped off with an insulating green roof.

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This industrious approach to build and design reduces associated wasted energy (often synonymous with demolishing the old and building something shiny, modern and new), all the while successfully preserving and celebrating the certain charm that comes with a house of this era.