Homeowners who have their hearts set on living in potentially hazardous, but captivating, bush locations need to find a way to build their dream homes in the sometimes challenging environment nature creates.
Located in Perth’s Gooseberry Hill suburb, this family home presented one such predicament. Backing onto the Kalamunda National Park, this two storey property was located in a stunning spot where beauty and nature collide. As a result, the builder and architect team had to make strategic decisions around the building materials and construction process to ensure the project would meet the client brief.
A home that’s as tough and beautiful as the landscape it’s set in
Due to its location, the project presented the team with the task of delivering a property that met bushfire building standards.
With a brief that called for a specific response to the site’s complexity, project architect Clayton Lindley of Naked Architecture purposely selected materials that were solid, durable, prefinished where applicable and bushfire resistant.
As a low combustible cladding, Cemintel’s Barestone met these obligations while also providing a facade that complemented the backdrop of the Hill’s raw, rugged environment.
“It was critical that the exterior cladding was very low in combustibility due to the home’s location. Barestone offered an effective solution as it provides greater bushfire resistance than other facade options such as steel cladding,” explains Lindley.
A facade that blends into the Australian bush backdrop
“The homeowners wanted their home to embody casual elegance with a sense of openness and connectivity with the surrounding landscape and vegetation,” explains Lindley.
“The facade’s natural colouring opens up the home to balance itself beautifully against the hues of the neighbouring bushland vistas.”
“At Naked Architecture we also like products that celebrate the honesty and integral characteristics of the site and we felt Barestone helped us achieve that in this project.
“We also loved the soft, mottled appearance the cladding offered. We felt this blended better with the bush backdrop over other material options such as Colorbond sheeting,” adds Lindley.
For Lindley, Barestone’s express joints introduced an important visual enhancement to the facade.
“The prefinished, precise, visibly ‘sharp’ expressed joints offered a clean, sleek look. They introduced a shadow line and more depth to the facade’s overall form helping create the visually impressive home the clients wanted,” Lindley adds.
Builder Mark Diedricks from Arklen Developments feels Barestone plays an integral role in helping the home sit comfortably in the context of its bush backdrop.
“We were excited by the challenge of creating the right balance between a low maintenance, robust family home that still appeared unique and inviting. The Barestone exterior cladding played a key role in achieving that,” Diedricks explains.
A challenging site
The site’s sloped location was another consideration. Set on an incline of around 22 – 24 degrees, the construction process had to work within these parameters.
“At Arklen our philosophy is to keep things simple and stay methodical with our building process. As the site is located on a slope, we knew there would be challenges with material handling and working at a height, so it was essential we used products that would be easier to install,” explains Diedricks.
“It’s often better to work with lightweight materials on raised sites as the handling, transport and installation are more efficient compared to working with something like pre-cast cement,” Diedricks notes.
For Diedricks, Barestone’s durability was also a big sell. We wanted a low maintenance cladding with a clean, subtle appearance that offered long term performance. As a prefinished product that required no painting or render, Diedricks felt Barestone fit the bill perfectly, and continues to specify the product within his other forthcoming projects at Arklen.
Barestone’s ventilated cavity structure also facilitates improved thermal performance and the CeminSeal technology prevents water from penetrating into the panel, providing this family home with a weathertight, durable, cladding system.
The home’s sustainable design meant it achieved a 74 per cent saving on Co2 when compared to a standard home’s Life Cycle Assessment. Diedricks feels the cladding was one of the materials that contributed towards this result.
“The 35mm cavity created by the cladding’s battens and the reflective wrap on the outer face of the timber wall that framed the cladding provided a good level of insulation. This meant that less energy inputs are required to meet the family’s everyday needs – helping us meet our project brief,” Diedricks explains.
Lindley and his team also maximised the principals of passive design by producing a plan that responded to the site’s climate, position, wind direction and solar orientation.
“The homeowners wanted a property that was energy efficient and maximised the passive solar benefits presented by the site’s location. We did this by orientating the home in a direction that ensured minimum exposure to the hot afternoon sun while also maximising exposure to northern winter sun,” Lindley explains.
“To celebrate the surrounding vistas we created two angled wings to the home. One wing embraces the city views while the other wing opens up to the surrounding bushland so the family enjoys the best of both backdrops.
“At Naked Architecture, our ethos is to use materials that are not covered in finishes or require ongoing maintenance. This philosophy corresponded with the homeowner’s desire for a design that would reflect the natural aesthetic of the property’s location and Barestone’s simple, raw palette played a key role in achieving that,” concludes Lindley.