Good design reduces risk

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Rather than turn homes into a ‘machine for living’, Mr Stockwell wants to reassure homeowners that they can still create a very livable home.

Rather than turn homes into a ‘machine for living’, Mr Stockwell wants to reassure homeowners that they can still create a very livable home.

Architect James Stockwell will be addressing attendees at the Building and Bushfire Conference to discuss the realities of designing fire resistant homes.

However any fears of having to give up livability or energy effeciency for the sake of fire-resistance can be alleviated.

In fact homes designed to mitigate risk against bushfires are built with a number of energy efficient features. 

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These include: 

  • Low maintenance
  • Energy savings – for example; shutters and insulation are very beneficial in terms of heating and cooling
  • Protection in storms and added security

Mr Stockwell also said the biggest win by far is sealing gaps for ember attack.

“Most houses are not very passive solar generally so with the new requirements of incorporating fire protection, this can be used as an opportunity to improve performance (as well as) save a lot on power bills by being more passive solar designed.

“I have done several houses that require little if any heating and cooling.”

In fact, in some of the homes Mr Stockwell has designed, heating has never been switched on. Rather than turn homes into a ‘machine for living’, Mr Stockwell wants to reassure homeowners that you can live in a fire-prone area and still design a house that has energy efficient features and remain a very livable home. ​“The aim is to maintain our connection with the natural world and have (our homes) function as well...and be lovely places to live.”