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Beyond Ink : Residential Design, Council Planning, Contract Administration, Project Management

Woodside, South Australia.

On 20th December 2019, the catastrophic Cudlee Creek bushfire caused mass devastation as it burned through the Adelaide Hills. Once the fire was finally declared to be out on 22nd January 2020, 98 homes had been destroyed and 23,253 hectares of land burnt.

98 Homes destroyed

56 Homes damaged

542 Non-residential building destroyed

23,253 Hectares burnt

1 Death

51 Firefighters injured

325 Vehicles destroyed / damaged

3,852 Livestock lost

938 Properties Saved

Source: South Australian Government Independent Review into South Australia’s 2019-2020 Bushfire Season. June 2020

Among the homes lost was a 1920’s stone cottage belonging to a couple who had moved to Woodside from the USA only 2 years previously. After choosing to evacuate on the day of the fire, the couple returned the next morning to find their much-loved home destroyed.

For Eileen and Ted, as for so many others throughout the Adelaide Hills, this was a devastating time. With so much lost it took a while to come to terms with the reality of their situation and and to decide what they now wanted for their future.

The couple resolved to stay and rebuild on the property and engaged Beyond Ink to design their new home. An important part of the design brief was that this new building would be more bushfire prepared. Having always lived in older homes which, although beautiful, were often cold and draughty, the rebuild also presented the opportunity to design a thermally efficient home.

Beyond Ink worked with Ted and Eileen to design their new home, manage their council applications and project manage the build to completion.

Beautiful arched stain glass window divided into 6 panels, set in a sandstone gable wall.
Beautiful arched stain glass window divided into 6 panels, set in a sandstone gable wall.
Beautiful arched stain glass window divided into 6 panels, set in a sandstone gable wall.

Fire protection features

Several features were incorporated into the design to ensure the property not only complies with the current CFS requirements but exceeds them. 

  • Metal sheeting external cladding
  • Gutter guards
  • 2 fire fighting hose reels
  • Gutter Block Bushfire Buddy devices installed on downpipes
  • Paved alfresco dining area in lieu of timber decking
  • Clearance of vegetation immediately surrounding the home 
  • Earthworks to allow for ease of CFS truck access from multiple points
  • 40,000 of dedicated firewater storage.
Looking down a bright function room through 3 floor-to-ceiling glass walls at the other end

Thermal efficient features

Features that contribute to the thermal efficiency of the building include:

  • Northern building orientation to maximise passive solar opportunities

  • Rammed earth spine wall for thermal mass
  • Reverse brick veneer construction with internal masonry dividing walls
  • Very little mechanical services required
  • Sustainable material selection.
Conservatory-style function room visible through the strappy leaves and surrounded by green trees.

We we felt privileged to be involved in a project like this, to be able to help this couple realise their vision for their new home. A beautiful, modern home rising from the ashes of the old.

 Project Credits

Structural Engineer:MLEI Consulting Engineers