Our interest in modular and prefabricated systems has seen us embark on a very interesting design journey. It has lead us to believe that the parameters produced by building with prefabrication and/or modular systems can elevate the experience of living and at the same time produce outcomes that cost no more than the project home alternatives. Our designs start from an understanding of place, that is, what nature is offing on a site-by-site basis. Once basic insight is understood regarding a particular site i.e. where is north, what direction are the prevailing winds coming from, what effect does the sun paths have on a site and how can the design outcomes respond the them, how are the flood levels and overland flow paths effecting the block etc. The consideration at schematic design stage of these basic solar passive techniques coupled with the clients design brief and budget form the grounds for a relevant solution not based on a bank manager’s design advice for resale.
Here in Queensland we have a beautiful subtropical environment; we should be taking advantage of it by creating breathable versatile homes that have operability at their core allowing for the change in seasonal climates. You don’t see a Sydney to Hobart team sitting in a luxurious air-conditioned cabin setting the yacht on autopilot. To maximise their speed and performance they have to have an intimate understanding of their environment and the scope of adjustment they have available to them on their vessel. Why can’t our houses be like this also? If we produce homes that are flexible by nature having the ability to operate them like you would a high performance yacht we can benefit from what the environment is offering. It is better to be small and smart rather than big and dumb. This doesn’t mean that our homes have to compromise on things liked privacy or the romance of space; it just means that a carful, well thought out approach to design has to be first considered.