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Queensland, Australia-based, Riddel Architecture has completed work on a new high-end private residence constructed almost entirely from the house it replaced. Situated in Hill End, inner Brisbane, Australia, the Hill End Ecohouse was built from recycled materials, using 95% of the salvaged material from the 19th Century house that originally occupied its narrow riverfront site. The original house was built around 1930. The original owners watched the building progress with keen interest and conveyed to the current owners that the original timber was harvested and milled at Blackbutt, 165 km from the site.

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All additional materials were locally sourced and have undergone rigorous assessment of their environmental, social and economic sustainability credentials.Through the process of energy-efficient design which responds to the local climate and through selection of materials, infrastructure and garden plantings, the principles of subtropical design have been addressed. Timber frames reduce heat transfer (compared to aluminum) and large expanses of glass to the Living, Dining and Best Bedroom use solar control, low-E glass. Where heat gain/loss is an issue to lower ventilation louvers, these were changed to insulating timber.

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Eaves and awnings are generous to provide sun and rain protection. A drop down blind to the River Terrace provides shaded summer morning outdoor living and prevents indoor spaces from overheating. A trellis with deciduous creepers shades the north(street)-facing balcony.

The Ecohouse holds a 6-star energy efficiency rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

“We were dedicated to creating the greenest home possible without compromising style,” said Robert Riddel, Director of Riddel Architecture. “The idea of deconstructing a previous property to create something new was really exciting to us. We are pleased with how the house manages to fuse beauty with eco facilities.”

Photos by Christopher Frederick Jones

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