Ian Wright - Eco Casa
Brisbane boat builder Ian Wright’s dream home may be small in size but it is huge in vision for the future of composites in the construction and housing marketplace.
The house marks the launch of a ‘green’ composite building material and assembly method developed by Ian’s company Norman R. Wright and Sons in conjunction with Gold Coast supplier ATL Composites.
Originally looking for a sustainable product to add “green” boats to his range of high performance commercial and plaesure craft, Ian had the idea that the material would also be ideal for use in the housing industry.
Eighteen months in development, drawing on the expertise of the composite engineering and chemical professionals in both companies, the revolutionary building panel material and frameless assembly system went through a long process of engineering analysis and certification before the plans for Ian’s dream home were approved.
A boat builder constructed the two sections (the 2m x 4m stairwell and the 18m x 4m house) and installed all fittings in the Norman R Wright factory.
“After earth works and the foundation posts and stairwell were in place we transported the house to the site on a boat trailer and then a crane lifted it into place,” says Ian.
The whole house weighs less than nine tonnes and is so stiff it only needed two slings for the lift.
Perched on top of a windswept hill in Wynnum North overlooking the ocean, “Eco Casa” is fitted out with the same meticulous attention to detail and finish as Ian’s boats, using sustainable, renewable or recycled materials throughout.
At less than eight squares it is small by many people’s standards but Ian says the open plan design is spacious for his needs especially compared to living on a boat! He has big plans for the new building material Eco Casa showcases.
Wendy Lewin Architects Waterfront House - Birchgrove
Composite Glazed Wall, Window-Box Frames and Roof for Waterfront House – Sydney
Architect Wendy Lewin designed multilevel framing for doors and window boxes that could incorporate both standard and unique glazing systems manufactured by Vitrocsa Australia, and an 11.5m long span roof for a new waterfront house in Birchgrove, Sydney.
Wendy Lewin Architect – Mosman, NSW, 2088
As for many of her past projects, Wendy’s original intention was to use Mild Steel Plate for these expressed frames which are conceived as “structural joinery” units. However, unlike past projects, the tendering process identified the cost for the manufacture, delivery, handling and placement of these steel plate elements for this project, was well beyond the scope of the building budget.
Site access from the street was difficult, and too narrow for a crane, making delivery, handling and placement of the welded steel plate assemblies more complex and expensive.Good site access from the harbour was available but the cost of barge-cranes, and the on-site placement by an additional crane, also brought complexity and significantly greater handling costs.
The north facing harbour-side location, exposure to high winds, wind-driven pollutants and the harsh maritime environment, also meant there was greater potential for corrosion and a reduction in long time material durability.
The glazed wall, door and window box frames are various sizes and shapes, and the roof has a free span distance of 6.5m from the outer support column to the bedroom on the other side. DuFLEX composite panels offered a stable, lightweight, corrosion-resistant, cost effective and high performance option, that could be used in the same way as the steel plate, without compromises having to be made in the design for high wind loads.
Richard Goodwin Architecture 17.5m Cantilevered Roof - Deepdene
The brief for this project called for a new level extension to the existing penthouse on 110 Elizabeth Bay Drive, which would add a lounge and deck to the apartment below. The client wanted to drastically improve the carbon footprint and sustainable qualities of this 60’s building. They also wanted the work to be transformative as art or sculpture. The design metaphor I chose was that of the fruit bat flying over the Baobab tree in the Botanical Gardens. I was able to work with Iain Murray, of America’s Cup fame, and my engineer Harry Partridge to complete a fibre-glass/carbon fibre and steel roof. It was built like a yacht and delivered in 3 pieces to the site.
The final roof collects and uses all roof water via basement tanks. Working with the yacht manufacturers led to a breakthrough in the finished surface of the roof drastically reducing UV damage. As a work of sculpture the folding plates of the wing also reach down into the action of the roof deck or outside area. A shard of wing actually imposes itself into the action of the deck as a wall-like giant animal wanting to be patted. The result speaks for itself. The separate parasite is a shared public art piece which forms a synthesis with its building of origin. It radically transforms the existing structure without destroying the host.
Azzura Marine, Queensland is accomplished at manufacturing vessels up to 74 meters in length in timber, composite, aluminium and steel. AM also provides technological advances and ultra-fine craftsmanship to deliver premium quality interiors, for five star hotels and other architectural and commercial applications.
Azzura’s latest architectural project incorporating DuFLEX® Composite Panels manufactured by ATL Composites, is a cantilevered roof for a 6 story building in Sydney, Australia.
Designed by architect Richard Goodwin, the spectacular roof shape, with a cantilvered section, was modeled on the angular shapes of an F117 jet. Wind ratings, weight, strength and stiffness had to be considered in the design, and in the choice of fabrication materials. ATL engineers did the composite engineering including finite element analysis for the project.
The need to reduce the overall thickness required a combination of materials to be used, as it could not be achieved with normal steel fabrication. ATL’s DuFLEX® panels cored with BALTEK® SB.100 end grain balsa, were used as they contributed structurally, while still meeting the weight and stiffness requirements.
ATL Composites manufactured the DuFLEX® panels and CNC-routed the roof parts from electronic files. The panels were delivered and joined on site at Azzura Marine by ATL, so the full sized parts could be assembled directly onto the steel support structure.
John Briggs, Project Manager for the job, said “The functionality of the DuFLEX / balsa panels was perfect for the project from a weight and strength perspective, and having them joined to the full size parts on site for assembly was fantastic.”
The roof was disassembled into 4 components, and shipped to the building site in Sydney. The parts, the largest piece being 3.6m x 17.5m, were lifted and positioned using a 140 tonne crane with an 87m boom.