Good design and high-quality, comfortable living shouldn't have to cost the earth, financially or environmentally. Offset House by Architopia combines passive solar principles, high-quality yet affordable materials and thoughtful design to bring high-quality housing within reach...
"Our block is really tricky because our front door faces north", says owner Athena. "So it was really hard to find a design that would get lots of natural light into the living areas. But with this [Offset House] design it’s just wonderful, it’s so light filled. And no matter where I stand in our house I can see greenery outside. I absolutely love it."
Offset House overcomes the tricky block and is planned as two separate wings which, as the name suggests, are offset and separated by a central entry. The design separates the more public living spaces from the more private sleeping and bathing spaces. For family life, this is a practical approach because the separation means you can still chat, watch TV or entertain while the kids are sleeping without disturbing them. A sliding door separates the living wing from the rest of the house so it can be closed off to keep the heat in in winter, or stop the noise of the living area reaching the bedrooms.
Reflecting the different functions of each wing, the living area is lighter, clad in timber, while the bedroom wing is clad in masonry block, helping it to feel more private and reducing noise. COLORBOND® steel roofing is another example of the cost-effective yet low-maintenacne materials specified to ensure the home is affordable yet finished to high standards. By angling the living areas towards the sun, the living areas have the best of both worlds: letting the light in while also opening up to the backyard. Positioning the entry between the two wings creates a welcoming entry to the street without sacrificing living area's privacy.
Inside, a scissor truss allows the home to have cathedral ceilings which provide an extra sense of spaciousness. Low VOC paints ensure the air-quality is high. Pendant lighting is used wherever possible instead of downlighting to minimise ceiling penetrations which reduces a home's energy-efficiency.
Another benefit of the offset design is the outdoor area to the rear is sheltered and protected from the wind by the two wings, creating a comfortable outdoor space.
Clever touches like the dedicated entry to the main bedroom create flexibility: it could be a self-contained AirBnB, home office or allow for dual living. The design also allows for straight-foward additions if and when that's needed.
The Offset House includes a 5kw east-west solar system which powers the home year-round. Combined with energy-efficient design, low-energy appliances and heat pump hot water service, this results in no energy bills for the owners! Thanks to the orientation and passive solar design, plenty of insulation and the use of high-efficiency ceiling fans and a wood heater the home is comfortable without the need for energy-intensive heating and cooling.
Simple but thoughtful design makes Offset House an affordable home which doesn't sacrifice the quality of materials or living. The result is a low-energy, low-impact home which is more accessible for more people.