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  • RB2 (recycled building two)

    Project -Extension and renovation of a 1920's 'nuevo' federation style 2 bedroom weatherboard house
    Location - Small urban type town (24,000 pop) called Wangaratta in North east Victoria. Medium to hot climate with a low elevation and low humidity with long periods of dry wind from the north. A small mountain range to the north west tends to funnel prevailing winds and the location is also at the junction of two fairly major rivers so locally the area has a relatively cool climate
    Type of Project - private residential
    Design Parameters - The existing structure is on a narrow block facing almost due north with the old building at the northern end of the site. At the rear is a large three bay steel shed that goes across the whole block and between these two structures is an open steel portal framed pergola on the eastern side of the site. Natural ventilation hasn't been considered (in 1920) beyond an interior layout permitting through winds north to south and fairly generous window sizes.
    Design Approach - I want ventilation in summer to be accentuated and warmth costs in winter to be minimized. To that end I have decided to try several passive technical solutions that have been inspired by the Kyoto town house 'tsuboniwa' solution to passive ventilation and the coolth effect of deep shaded caves in hot dry climates. These solutions and subsequent research is in turn inspired by the basic existing layout of all the structures on the site, the orientation of those structures on the site and the orientation and dimensions of the site itself. These all tend to remind me of the basic layout of an old style Kyoto town house where a garden is placed in the center of a structure to which corridors and passages are made available for ventilation.

    To minimize heat gain and increase humidity in this relatively dry climate I have decided to create high garden beds separated from the extensions by deep paved pathways constructed of deep gravel and stones. The underfloor areas of the existing house and the extensions will all have ventilation to these deep paths. Technically this provides two deep penetration ventilation routes for the buildings with the other being through the building above the floors. I will also enclose the garden on the eastern side with a long covered deck that joins the house to the shedding at the back. The deck will provide a place to hang clothes and a covered path to the shedding at the back.

    These parameters guide me to design a building that can be partially closed down in winter and opened completely in summer, which leads me to think of a large enclosed verandah that operates as a sealed room in winter and open as a garden deck in summer. To do this the 'enclosed' verandah must be completely open-able so I am thinking of 7 meter rafters held up by two large beams and a single central column across the back and holding up bi-folding double glazed doors and screens. This will enable the family to withdraw into a smaller insulated living space in winter for lower heating costs with new circulation routes and existing bedrooms left un-insulated. (Though I am considering inserting styrene slabs between studs by removing the lowest weather boards, but the studs are an incredible 250mm apart, not the standard 450mm because the originals were termite damaged and replaced but left in the walls)

    At the back of the property the shedding will get partially insulated as it is by far the biggest presentation to northern solar exposure, where as the existing house is quite small in that aspect and it will be getting a new roof so insulation can be inserted then. As well it has recently had all its ceiling space insulated.
    The new extension to the house will have a roof pitched towards the north it will be able warm the inside of the double glazed skiding doors in winter, while only mildly heating the timber floor in summer. With this spot heated up and the roof opening outwards it should draw cool air in through the front of the house.

    Drawings - I intend to provide drawings compiled for a building permit application which I will post as soon as I have done them. (next couple of months I hope)
    Tools/Programs- Pen and pencil which are completely illegible at the moment as I am just too busy getting it all started and moving in at the same time.!!!Ahh! Followed by sketch up and layout for permits which I will post asap.
    Last edited by simon seasons; 25-10-2011, 01:13.

  • #2
    This is apparently the best resolution I can get for Wangaratta.
    The original house is the hipped roof at the north. The attached skillion has had a 1980's make over. the pergola is that double shaded structure on the east as half is roofed and half is shade cloth. The rest is the gigantic shed. The garden is proportionally quite small but central to the rest of the site, hence my initial Kyoto town house reaction.

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    Last edited by simon seasons; 06-05-2010, 15:30.

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    • #3
      This is the northern elevation and a side view of the original house.


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      • #4
        Rear view of skillion extension done in the 80's I think plus a shot of the re-stumping works underway. That large chunk of concrete ramping is scheduled for removal next Tuesday. The front verandah had been concreted too but that was pulled out last week. Concrete around timber structures is a disaster. Luckily the rot had only affected a small amount due to the dry climate and I'll be replacing the front with timber decking to increase the under floor ventilation. The back will be pretty much all ripped off and replaced with the extension enclosed decking.


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        Last edited by simon seasons; 05-05-2010, 15:20.

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        • #5
          Shots of the shedding and the steel pergola frame. The previous owner had a dad who owned a steel fabrication shop so it's all high quality steel and connections perfect for hanging a new structure from. Note that the outdoor dunny has lost its outdoor cabin so it really is an outdoor dunny, but that it approximates the position of the new bathroom.


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          • #6
            Some interior shots which I hope show that the condition of the original interior isn't too bad, considering its being jacked up about 25 mm on average to get it back to level. The walls are lined with horse hair plaster which is amazingly flexible and the original 1920 art deco plaster ceilings are in great shape as well. There is a smidgen of termite damage (inactive since the 80's and repaired during the present restumping) at the base of the north wall but nothing to worry about when it's considered that it's been on timber stumps with no ant capping for 90 years.

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            Last edited by simon seasons; 05-05-2010, 15:31.

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            • #7
              Here's some images of traditional Japanese tsuboniwa for those who may not have heard of this architectural wonder. Usually they are artfully created as are these ones since they also perform a meditative function as well. Technically that isn't necessary of course, but I'll do my best.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by simon seasons View Post
                This is apparently the best resolution I can get for Wangaratta.
                Use Nearmap
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                • #9
                  Excellent, large block, Simon. Layout is well suited to a courtyard garden. How far do you intend to follow the Japanese theme in it's design? Your carpentry skills have found a worthy showcase here. The original house's charm will provide a good juxtaposition for remodelling at rear. Look forward to developments

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AgentVlin View Post
                    I was directed to nearmap by a good friend but I couldn't get a jpeg of it.Thank you so much Tim. Can you please email that through to me and I'll use it for a scaled site plan?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zxath View Post
                      Excellent, large block, Simon. Layout is well suited to a courtyard garden. How far do you intend to follow the Japanese theme in it's design? Your carpentry skills have found a worthy showcase here. The original house's charm will provide a good juxtaposition for remodelling at rear. Look forward to developments
                      It is quite large, but small compared to the last place, which is a really good feeling.

                      I don't intend to try and make it look Japanese. I just want to use the ventilation and cooling techniques and expand on it. The carpentry will try and reach a Japanese skill level but that will be mostly in the flooring detailing around sliding glass doors, pillars and the sliding insect/security screening.

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                      • #12
                        Congratulations on your new place.
                        My first step would be removing these brick piers and straightening up the posts...
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gorgon View Post
                          Congratulations on your new place.
                          My first step would be removing these brick piers and straightening up the posts...
                          Well spotted Keiran. I have purchased four new 120mm square laminated posts plus stirrups and bolts and hired the props, and those gargantuan brick pillars are out of there next week. I am going to restore the timber deck but I am going to use a really tough spotted gum timber that will extend the decking out an extra meter past the eaves and wrap around the posts. Since re-stumping those wonky post and pier things have really gone all over worse than in that photo.

                          The consensus is that they are original to the building but there are three neighboring properties all built by the same designer/builder and they have all lost their brick piers. (Or they were simply put on the last one in the row 'cause he had bricks left over) The big shed up the back is getting a paved brick floor so the more original bricks the better. Photos of the new front verandah coming soon.

                          Speaking of bricks. There is an old quarry across the road from which all the bricks came that I used in my retaining walls on RB1.
                          Last edited by simon seasons; 06-05-2010, 15:32.

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                          • #14
                            Had a garage sale (yard sale) on the Saturday to clear out all that mess (see post #5) and this Monday morning the big toys arrived. Amazing driver worked in an incredibly tight site, just missing by inches all sorts of things all morning.


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                            Last edited by simon seasons; 10-05-2010, 13:35.

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                            • #15
                              He made short work of all that concrete that had been laid against the house (see post #4 and #5) and the big piles of under slab compacted clay as well.


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                              Last edited by simon seasons; 10-05-2010, 13:41.

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