dion seminara architecture

Who Are Our Clients

Read more about David’s situation in regards to his project in Sherwood below.


New Energy Efficient Home in Sherwood

Our client, David, is a retired associate Professor in mathematics and author. David was extremely keen on having a sustainable and passive home with net zero energy consumption.

David, as you would expect, was big on doing his research before moving forward. He came across this website some 12 months prior to us getting in contact, using this time to explore a number of mass produced and project home design plans. Not surprisingly none of these companies could meet David’s passion for a high energy efficient outcome.

Interestingly it was not David who made the first approach, but rather it was I who reached out to him on the back of him having downloaded so many of our resources. It stood to reason that he must be looking for something. So I offered him one of my architectural design advice services to work through his needs.  I wanted to give him an understanding of what was possible. I wanted to execute an outcome that would achieve, for him, a very high energy rated home. A home that he would love to live in as his forever home.

David lives alone, so his core needs were straightforward enough; a 3-bedroom home, one for him, one to act as a library and one as a guest room. The home was to have substantial insulation to all walls, ceilings, and the underside of the roof. It would also feature a massive solar capacity through an array of solar panels, all orientated to the north. Again, David had done his research. Prior to purchasing the site David had made sure no trees or buildings could block his solar access both now and into the future.

Like many, David discovered through our design process that the key to achieving a high energy rating lies in the design of the home’s layout. The home must respond to our subtropical climate maximising natural airflow. It must be shielded from negative elements but must take advantage of natural lighting. Only once this criteria has been met, can a home achieve the levels of energy efficiency that David was seeking. So the design layout of David’s home and it’s 3-dimension shape, were crucial, not only in achieving a highly functional and efficient home, but also to achieve an extremely high energy rating.

David chose to work with us based on our specialist expertise. He engaged us to provide our full architectural service including interior design, full cost management along with contract administration. Being retired meant that David did not have an unlimited budget, necessitating a range of refinements to get David’s home over the line with the funds that were available.  This made obtaining competitive building quotes extremely important.

David’s project was priced by very competent builders that we know and trust having used them previously. Interestingly, even though we had provided highly detailed documents there was still a significant price range in the quotes we obtained. We went with the lowest bidder on this occasion, safe in the knowledge that they do quality work.

Although all of our designs rank highly in terms of sustainability, this one really is off the charts. David’s project achieved a Nathers’ energy star rating of 8.7 and is one of only a few homes across Australia that has achieved such a high rating. The maximum rating is 10 with most new homes sitting around 4 to a maximum of 6. As we write this article, David’s home is still under construction. Tune in for more on this home or catch up with us on Facebook to see progress images.