Environmentally Sustainable Housing

A 'performance shell' was produced during this design competition for 104 apartments by analyzing shadows, wind effects and setbacks. A block model was tested in a wind tunnel and the resultant form was moulded according to the wind conditions in terms of ventilation and wind protection. Boundary layer conditions were examined and wind turbulence was mediated. The solution allows for cooling summer breezes through the apartments.

Sun access and avoidance of overshadowing to living areas was resolved in the design. Full site landscaping by RWA included a microclimate courtyard of rain forest and water garden elements and shade trees. Perimeter landscaping included screen fences, climbers and trees for shading of surfaces.

The design is based on principles of good housing design principles, with the following attributes:

  • Street frontage has a residential aspect with apartments fronting the street at ground level (and front gardens).
  • All apartments are orientated towards the residential street with either terrace or balcony and solar access to living areas during winter.
  • The contoured building form (wedge and courtyard) mitigates wind turbulent effects.
  • All floors have disabled access and a clear and simple organisation and clearly designated with lift and stair cores at ground level.
  • The access systems at upper level provide privacy to adjoining rooms with natural light and ventilation.

The team sought to provide a comprehensive architectural solution that utilised a strategy of applying ecological forces to result in an integrated expressive form rather