Entry to rangers residence, Namadgi

Project Overview

The new ranger’s houses at Namadgi and Bendora dam have been designed around their working use and environmental requirements.  In planning the houses have a mud room that links the entry and garage to the wet areas.   There is one single living space with adjoining kitchen, a main bedroom and two smaller bedrooms that can be linked to become a single office space.

Residences have been designed to allow passive solar and ventilation principles to be employed for minimised energy use. At Bendora in particular, this is essential as there is no electrical supply and the installation of a mini hydro system off the environmental flow of the dam is its only power source.  Each house also has an onsite sewer treatment facility and rainwater storage for 50,000L.

Residences have their primary use early morning, evening and night with only minor use during the day except in bad weather.  The model of the building as the solar collector is ideal for this use in winter.  During the day the sun penetrates the houses warming up the slab and any internal mass, at night heat reradiates into the space from this mass. The thermal modelling of these residences shows that even without any supplementary heating the minimum temperature during winter would be 14 – 16º.  This is an ideal sleeping temperature and means minimal heating would be required to warm up on winter mornings. 

In summer the sun does not penetrate the northern windows and the high roof slope helps to create a stack effect for exhausting out hot air through high level windows on the southern elevation of the houses. During the hot summer days the houses can be closed down completely with blinds drawn to minimise heat build up.

Images: Ben Wrigley