Lewiston project


Location: - Lewiston S.A.
Completed: - 22 Dec 93
Architect: - E. Prelgauskas (Monarto S.A.)
Builder: - R.A. & C.J. Bilske (Loxton S.A.)
Owner: - P.W. & E.K. Daniels
Size: - 175 sq. metres (inc. garage)
Climate: Dry, warm temperate


The main objective was to provide low energy, thermally comfortable living in a house of straightforward layout and high quality natural finish. A bias toward summer comfort was sought by the architect through his use of "micro- climatic design" principles. The house was also to blend into the natural lay of the land as much as possible and use colours that were compatible with a rural landscape.


1 ha of cleared land with a gentle NE facing slope. Open land to the northern and eastern boundaries have been left by the Council to eventually evolve to a tree'd and grassed reserve area. The house has been nestled into a cut made into the slope and subsequent minor bermes formed to the west and south west. A concrete water tank and brick walls act to retain soil and shelter the house. Extensive tree plantings (native vegetation) to the west and south are intended to act as wind-breaks when fully grown and provide shading to these walls of the house during summer. Lesser plantings to the east and north for wind abatement exist with the immediate northern zone to the house to be planted with low growinlg shrubs to permit winter sun ingress.


Conventional brick veneer with a double brick, re-inforced concrete retaining wall to the lower portion of the west and southern walls. A French drain and bituminous coatings ensure these walls are water-proof. Light coloured face bricks feature externally and also inside where they contribute thermal mass to help stabilise temperature variations. Pale green sheet metal roofing pitch at 15 degrees predominates whilst the section over the living room is at 30 degrees. This allows a section of the roofline to feature south facing clerestorey windows. Skylights on the southern slope of the roof are intended to provide lighting when, at a later date, vegetation will have commenced to shade the south wall windows.
The 100mm floor slab is paved throughout with light coloured tiles and carpet will be installed to the bedrooms and living room at a later date. Raked ceilings to the living areas and main bedroom are pine board lined, with the remainder of the house having flat, plasterboard linings.


Heated in winter by direct gain through northern glazing with heat stored in the tiled floor and internal brick walls.
Additional heat is provided by a centrally located solid fuel combustion heater.
In summer, the north-facing windows are shaded by a 750mm wide eaves overhang supplemented by an ornamental grape vine covered pergola. Comfort conditions are maintained by night-time cooling of the internal mass by south-north cross ventilation. Hot air is also vented through openable windows in the clerestory during day or night.
Solar-heated hot water is provided by a Beasley low pressure system. The storage tank is located within the roof space with the two collector panels mounted low on the 30 degree pitched portion of the roof. Automatic electric boost is provided whilst the panels are fitted with mechanical anti-freeze valves.

Insulation and sealing.

R2 rockwool batts to externall wall cavities; R2.1 rockwool batts to all internal stud walls (improved acoustic properties). R2 roof blanket draped over roof purlins and additional R2 batts to flat ceiling areas and vertical in-fill panels. Lined curtains are provided to glazed areas to the north with sealed thresholds to external doors and sealing strips to select internal doors. Standard hair seals are provided to aluminium sliding doors and windows.

Future projects.

Provision of a photovoltaic/battery powered back-up lighting system to select rooms. A thermal courtyard/patio area to the immediate north will augment cross ventilation on still air days. Plumbing in of the water tanks will permit the choice of either mains or rainwater in the house. Planting will continue to establish three levels of vegetation.
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