Passive solar reno on a difficult site

The family of five saw potential in this house where most others didn’t. Facing due east on the edge of a steep hill, it was somewhat dilapidated, gloomy, cold in winter and didn’t have a single north facing window. The yard was an impenetrable mass of weeds. Anyone persistent enough to penetrate the weeds would find the yards previous function was as a tip.

Due to the constraints of slope, we decided the best value approach was to work with the original frame and use other ways to get north facing glass into an east facing box. Windows were added to the north wall and the living/ kitchen/ dining reconfigured to take advantage. The house was reroofed, featuring north facing slits to further brighten the interior. A parents wing was added, jutting out for more north facing glass. An easterly deck was built to capitalise on the amazing views. This was roofed and given proportions so that the deck is used as an outdoor room. Sliding glass doors to the deck allow the cooling summer breeze to enter and the roof prevents the house overheating from morning summer sun.

The family painstakingly converted the weeds and rubbish into a rolling, grass covered orchard with pockets of rainforest in the background.

The mother gave us some nice feedback:

“You did such a great job – I still wouldn’t change a thing.”