As a young builder working in his father’s business, Get Smart Constructions, Stuart Ponsford has helped build many homes for clients, but had minimal design experience, so experimenting on his own project – his first home – seemed a good place to start.
This ‘first go’ could not have ended any better for Stuart, because with the help of Lauricella Design and Drafting, his design took out the residential category of the 2020 Lysaght Innovation Design Awards.
It wasn’t an easy journey to the award. Based in Bermagui, New South Wales, the chosen site with its awkward triangular shape and fall of almost 3000mm, was less than ideal for building. The sensitivities of a pristine wetland environment which the block overlook, also had to be considered.
For both environmental and budgetary reasons, this winning design follows the contour of the land meaning minimal excavation, resulting in a simple yet elegant split level floor plan that takes advantage of the natural light and wetland views from the living and dining room, courtesy of large casement windows.
‘Blue Wren’ as the home was coined, uses a dramatic combination of feature natural timber cladding, weatherboards and LYSAGHT KLIP-LOK 700 HI-STRENGTH® sheeting which has been used on selected exterior walls as well as the roof. The KLIP-LOK® cladding in COLORBOND® steel colour SURFMIST® creates an eye-catching contrast to the warm brown hues of the timber feature cladding.
Stuart said that using KLIP-LOK 700 HI-STRENGTH® on selected exterior walls and roof gave the design added architectural interest.
“You see plenty of KLIP-LOK® sheeting being used on roofs, but not so much on walling, and it really does offer something different,” he said.
“Choosing a lighter colour like SURFMIST® provides good reflective qualities, so will help the home stay cooler in summer, it’s also very easy and fast to install – between my father and I we had most of it up within two days.”
Some of Blue Wren’s other environmental considerations include double glazing and low-e glass throughout, a 9.8kW solar power system, and a 20,000 litre water tank with filtration system that runs through an automatic rain bank for general use.
Stuart said that he’s pleased with the end result of the design and is enjoying living in the home.
“We started out looking to design a modern coastal home that was a bit different and I think we’ve achieved this,” he said.
“Given that it’s the first home I’ve designed I was a bit surprised at winning the Lysaght award but very appreciative of it. I guess I’ve been involved in the construction industry for a while now, so was able to draw inspiration from some of the other homes that I’ve worked on and liked over the years.
“From a trade perspective, as builders we really enjoy using Lysaght products, they offer great variety and we like the fact that Lysaght is an Australian company and manufactures locally.”