Our clients purchased this site in Embleton with long-term investment goals. Their brief was to maximize short-term rental income and long-term resale of the development. To achieve that goal it was pertinent to have both homes with street presence and to capture the available city views. This produced two narrow buildings which needed to join at the hip in order to maximize the site potential. When two buildings connect down a central parapet wall, it makes it difficult to provide natural light and ventilation into the centre of the home. This has been overcome by creating a central courtyard off the central lounge area alongside the staircase. As with our Karrinyup home, this courtyard creates a chimney in effect. Air moving across the top of the courtyard draws air up and out of the courtyard and through the home passively cooling it - Bernoullis Principle
These two homes have been built from double brick for the ground floor and timber framing for the upper floor. Timber framing for the first floor is not only cost effective as it reduces build time, it also has the added advantage of passively cooling much quicker than double brick. As the first floor contains the bedrooms, this is an area of the home that is predominately used in the evening. Timber framing will not hold heat so as soon as the sun goes down the whole upper floor cools very quickly. A problem with double brick construction is that in summer it will hold onto that heat and radiate it into the room at night providing the occupants an unpleasant night’s sleep. Alternatively you pump loads of cool air into the room to try and cool it down. A lot of the energy your air-conditioner is using is just cooling the walls of the building.