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Owl Woods passive house resembles a cluster of birdhouses

Homeowners sitting in the outside timber stair of Owl Woods Passive House
Street view of Owl Woods Passive House with external blinds
Distant view of Owl Woods Passive House in bird houses design

The Owl Woods Passive House in Trentham, Victoria was designed to Passivhaus standards which allows for stable indoor temperatures, healthy indoor environment and low running costs. Designed by Talina Edwards Architecture, the home achieved Passivehaus certification by creating a well insulated and airtight building envelope with openable triple glazed windows, controlled ventilation and elimination of thermal bridges. Additionally, the home was orientated using passive solar design principles.

The dining set and living room adjacent to it are both facing the triple-glazed windows
The kitchen counter with a wooden stool and dining set next to it

The home was designed as a cluster of farm sheds or birdhouses, whilst reminding the owners of the Scottish village where they previously lived.

The pitched roofs stretch to the north like a birds beak, providing summer shading. The roof then folds down the western side like a wing protecting the home from the strong western summer sun.

Related project: CLT Passivehaus by Betti & Knut Architects

Kitchen-dining room with a hardwood dining set hanging lamp
Kitchen area with timber countertops and wooden stool
Close-up of kitchen area with timber framed glass window and timber countertops

Sustainability specs:
– Passivehaus design certified
– Passive House
– Highly insulated and tightly sealed
– Triple glazed tilt and turn windows
– Passive solar design
– Eaves and external blinds to block solar gain
– Biophilic principles
– Use of local materials and trades
– Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR)
– Furniture and joinery stained with natural oils
– Designed to BAL-29 bushfire requirements
– Under 10% more than cost of a conventional build
– All electric
– Rainwater tanks

An antique armchair and a wooden cabinet next to it in the bedside of the room
Timber Laundry Room Countertop with potted plant and a ceiling-mounted clothes drying rack
bathroom from the open door view with timber vanity tops and bathtub
The hallway in the living room with a wooden dining set and cabinet
Angle view of eaves in the Owl Woods Passive House with trees in the background
From the architect:

Materials were chosen that are natural, healthy, durable and sustainably sourced, relating back to the Australian landscape and minimising embodied energy wherever possible.

Rather than just being ‘tin sheds’, lovely radial-sawn native timber cladding was introduced to complement the grey corrugated steel, and soften the overall feel of the home and create that connection back to the surrounding bushland.


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