A sustainable, zinc-clad family home on a budget in Australia

Located in a Rockhampton suburb in Queensland, Australia, OURHOUSEWANDAL by Design+Architecture and N.Veenstra is a 1,615 square foot sustainable family home designed on a low budget. The clients, who had grown accustomed to a minimalist lifestyle from traveling, wanted the home to help bridge the gap between their connection to the outdoors and a comfortable suburb setting.

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The exterior of a two-story home with a light and dark gray color scheme. A small deck is covered by an overhang, and it overlooks a green yard where a child runs around.

The home’s two stories are built on a slightly elevated foundation to allow for exceptional natural light and ventilation, while the construction materials include low-cost sustainable zinc cladding. The project also includes large overhanging eaves and is positioned to offer complete views of the substantial backyard area and beyond, which also helps reduce energy from artificial heating and cooling. Floor-to-ceiling windows and an open plan encourage even more natural light. 

Two images. To the left, the exterior of a two-story home with a light and dark gray color scheme. To the right, a close-up of the home's zinc cladding.

Related: A prefabricated family home boasts an impressively small carbon footprint

Low-cost zinc is used on both the exterior walls and roof to reduce the home’s environmental footprint and ongoing maintenance costs. The zinc also gives the facade aesthetic similarities to a shipping container home, only on a much larger scale.

Two images. To the left, a child walking on the deck around the home's exterior. To the right, a person walking up a stone and grass path to the front door of the home.

The two-toned color scheme distinguishing each of the two levels on the exterior is modern, yet minimal. A wooden deck in the garden provides a relaxing spot to immerse yourself in nature along with a series of large glass doors connecting the backyard with the kitchen. Inside, the color palette is condensed to organic wood tones, white and a few trimmings of metal or soft black.

Open sliding glass doors looking out at the green yard where a child plays.

“The simple, clean design encourages us to slow down, collect less stuff and enjoy what is meaningful,” said the client. “We really notice how open and connected we are to the outdoors, particularly when returning from a holiday – coming home feels more relaxing.” An engineer by profession, the client had a large hand in the design and implementation of the home. According to the architects, the close working relationship with the client helped keep the overall cost of the project within a low budget.

+ Design+Architecture

Via Designboom