Go to Emilis' home page


Building types by construction system

Each project from this practice evolves unique to its site, clients and development priorities.

Even so, as the numbers of completed projects grows, both the environmental systems integrated and the construction approaches utilised find repeated applications.
Thereby mainstreaming of environmental approaches toward conventional industry processes occurs.
The environmental systems are described separately.

Construction systems

Here, the emphasis is on the construction approaches which fulfill environmental goals.

Broadly these are:-

  1. insulated light weight framed structures e.g. Portals
  2. as above, but using pre-fabrication
  3. mixed framed and masonry structures
  4. Hebel insulating masonry
  5. masonry structures using a variety of materials


In the hot arid lands of this practice's service area, well insulated lightweight framed structures perform well with the climate responsive comfort systems used by this practice.

In timber framed structures, the opportunity arises to use recycled or plantation grown timbers. Occassionally on-site timber sources are part of the resource stock.

However, on many sites there is no suitable building material to hand, disturbance of the site would lead to long term environmental damage locally, and the transport cost of most materials choices is uniform.
Here pre-fabrication off site and hand tool installation of lightweight steel structures on-site is attractive for its benefits of site protection during construction and resistance to pests.

Hebel is autoclave aerated concrete (AAC) which constructs as masonry block but with air inclusions forming insulation integral to the block. This contributes to comfort in buildings.

Some sites are suited to masonry structures, where the thermal mass assists the building to maintain comfort.
Few of the projects of this practice use conventional brick or brick veneer construction; those few noted here were developed with the clients understanding of the sub-optimum performance of that material mix. The choice was driven by preferences for conventional appearance rather than environmental performance.

However, some projects use environmental masonry solutions including site collected surface stone, rammed earth and mud brick.

There is also a stream of projects which mix these construction approaches. Notably, pre-fabricated insulated building envelopes introducing thermal mass masonry elements.

There is no single general solution for everyone, not even when measured against environmental criteria alone, let alone when measured against a mix of requirements including client preference and societal expectations (as imposed by town planners in their ignorance).

The projects listed below simply show the mainstreaming of environmental solutions from this practice by the repeated application of these distinct construction approaches.
Many of these projects are individually described on separate files.

1. insulated light weight framed structures

  • Sandow Cres. house at Coromandel Valley
  • Kameruka, a framed house at Inman Valley
  • community buildings at Onkaparinga Estuary recreation area
  • complex of a dozen transportable buildings at Uniting Church colony, Kuitpo
  • 3 houses for the several generations of Leonard family at Callington

2. as above, but using pre-fabrication

  • steel framed house at Purnong
  • Redcone, a steel framed house at Bower
  • Ferries-McDonald, a steel framed house at Monarto
  • Noarlunga Downs Community Centre

3. mixed framed and masonry structures.

  • Strathearn, a steel framed house with stone infill at Wistow
  • Dolbat, a steel framed house with stone earth berme at D'Estrees Bay
  • Davelea, a steel framed Hebel infill house at Kuitpo
  • steel framed and Hebel infill pavillion addition to villa in Parkside
  • 2 storey steel frame & log cabin addition at Coromandel Valley
  • timber framed addition to stone barn at Lobethal

4. Hebel

  • 2 storey addition to cottage at Ashton
  • house at Stonyfell Drive, Murray Bridge
  • Heinjus house at Macclesfield

5. masonry structures using a variety of materials

  • stone house at Finnis
  • octagonal stone house at Carey Gully
  • stone addition to church at Woodchester
  • rammed earth addition at Silver Sands
  • mud brick house at Cromer
  • mud brick house at Bridgewater
  • tilt slab concrete warehouse at Ridleyton
  • concrete block sports centre at Kilburn
  • Kidalong concrete block veneer house at Murray Bridge
  • brick house at Lewiston
  • brick conference centre at Victor Harbor
  • brick addition at Driffield Ct., Bridgewater
  • brick strata title office at Glen Osmond

End of section