CASE STUDY: This small, simple energy efficient Perth home designed by architect Ben Caine wowed the market when it went to auction and it’s so energy efficient it didn’t even need solar panels.
When architect Ben Caine was designing a super high energy performance, timber framed home on a laneway block in coastal Perth, he was conscious of not creating another bespoke hard-to-replicate home built purely for “magazine fodder”.
“Good performance homes should be available to more people, not less,” the Leanhaus architect told The Green List.
Like all Ben’s high-performance designs, this two-bed, two bathroom, plus study home in Scarborough known as Abbetthaus is elegant in its simplicity.
And it’s not just a play to a minimalist aesthetic. There are so many benefits, Ben says of his preferred way of working. Cutting out unnecessary extras keeps costs down and it puts high performance, architecturally designed homes in reach of first homeowners with more modest budgets.
It looks like the market also appreciates where Ben’s coming from. His simple, comfort-driven design recently paid off with a record price for location and block size. More than 80 people came through on each of the two inspections.
Ben says there were many unhappy homebuyers who walked away empty handed. One of them even got in touch to see if he’d design a similar home for them.
Of course that’s in a “pretty hot” market where there’s an undersupply of housing, especially homes that are even “mildly environmental friendly”. In Perth, Ben says you’re lucky to even get the right orientation.
In Perth most new housing is double brick which means pretty poor thermal performance.
The industry’s been building this way for decades, changing nothing but the style since the 70s, Ben says. So most people who came to the auction were emerging from an uncomfortable, expensive winter in these double brick homes and could have been quite open to something different.