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Filter House
by Sustainable Built Environments



FILTER HOUSE The Filter House creates a practical and emotional response to a public housing brief responding to the desert-edge, tropical climate of Broome. The design consists of two pavilions, separated to create outdoor living areas between building forms. It provides for an active outdoor lifestyle in climatically moderated outdoor zones, playing on notions of shade, filtered light, forest canopies and sheltering screens. SOCIAL CONTEXT Design demonstrates sustainable design solutions in Public Housing in the northwest of WA ESD leadership and education role for ESD in the built environment of the WA's Northwest URBAN CONTEXT Mindful of the need for urban and social integration of public housing Street façade and raised connection to the ground fits with tropically casual streetscapes CLIMATE RESPONSIVE Raised floors catch and control sea breezes, maximise sub-floor ventilation and locate rainwater tanks underneath, offering the building protection from wet season downpours and fierce local termites Outdoor living areas oriented to capture predominantly western summer sea breezes with a roller door for tenant control over cross ventilation eliminating seasonal blustery, dust laden easterly winds FILTERING SCREENS Recycled Jarrah slats create an outer layer of screening to the building – filtering the sun in hot weather as well as filtering out cyclones The screens maintain air movement and set up a play of light to covered outdoor areas and windows Corrugated iron tilt-panels provide shade and afternoon sun control to the bedroom pavilion, providing lock-down protection in cyclones. PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGN SOLUTIONS Raised light-weight structure is designed to respond

quickly to cooler external temperature conditions Pavilions are passively ventilated with fully openable louvre and clerestory windows The brief required active cooling, in response two highly insulated ‘cool cells' with air-conditioning were designed to service one zone at a time, minimising hvac equipment size RENEWABLE ENERGY Solar hot water system will provide over 65% of hot water heating energy from the sun Grid reticulated 11 panel photovoltaic generates electricity installed WATER EFFICIENCY Rainwater is collected and stored in 6 x 11,365L tanks buried beneath the building Demand is minimised using flow reducers, pressure balancing systems, water efficient fittings and aerators SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS SELECTION Primary steel structure maximises structural efficiency and responds to cyclone uplift forces Wall framing and external finishes in steel in response to extreme termite risk External screens of recycled Jarrah Internal floors are Australian hardwood plywood Reconstituted sawdust and recycled plastic decking Recycled plastic external stair treads Standardised structural pavilion design has pre-fabrication potential to minimise construction waste TENANT ENGAGEMENT Tenants were briefed on controlling passive ventilation and active air-conditioning systems MEASURED RESULTS AND EVALUATION The Sustainable Energy Development Office has monitored the house operation and contributed real data enabling review of ESD outcomes Energy use data was collected for 12 months, and has demonstrated: 60% reduction in mains electricity use in comparison to the monitored DH&W reference house 54% reduction in mains water use in comparison to the average Broome house

Broome, WA
Sustainable Built Environments
Contact address:
Project Team
Project architect: John Pye
Design architect: Chris Barnett
Structural consultant: Kimberley Structural -Tom Vinnicombe
Builder: HM Tracey
Energy modelling: Chris Jensen
3D modelling: Steve Brown - Afterglow
Contract Administration: PM+D Architects

Photographs by Sustainable Built Environments, text by Sustainable Built Environments

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects