LATEST ARCHITECTURAL PROJECTS/ from Adelaide Architect, Warwick O' Brien

A modest 1940’s austerity style home

Lower Mitcham SA 5062
Completed: June 2014
Cost Range: $500,000 - $600,000

This addition to a modest 1940’s austerity style home has transformed it into a 21st century 3 bedroom home with all of the comforts needed for a growing family. Sustainability was a driving motivation for the clients so that they can go forward using minimum energy whilst enjoying the benefits of a free running building. The additions include a new open style living, dining and kitchen, bathroom, study, wine store, walk in robe and en-suite. Remodelling of the existing house has produced a new master bedroom and sauna. Externally a new lap pool, spa, deck and landscaping has also been added together with rainwater tanks. The original house faces east and the rear yard’s long axis was north-south. It was therefore important to set the new additions to the southern side of the block so that the maximum solar exposure could be gained for the new living spaces.



  • Plan shape to optimise solar access
  • Thermal mass in floors (polished concrete)
  • Sloping ceilings with high level opening windows to vent hot air
  • LED lighting and wall mounted uplighters
  • Double glazing to windows
  • Sweep fans
  • Natural cross ventilation to living spaces
  • High levels of insulation in walls and ceiling
  • Wide eaves to shade windows
  • Rainwater tanks fed by all new roof areas
  • Liquid pool cover to reduce evaporation
  • Hydronic heating
  • Future photovoltaic array



Walls: Rendered Powerpanel (HEBEL) on 120mm stud frame with R2.5 insulation
Floor:polished concrete
Roof:Colorbond metal sheet
Windows:Western red cedar clear finished timber frames. Double glazing and low emissivity glass