Designed and built by Chris Knierim, owner of Designer Construction Group, and his wife Belinda Mason, Forest Lodge ECO House was recently featured in Season 4 of the popular TV program Grand Designs Australia. Photography: Nick WilsonOwners Chris and Belinda bought a small corridor of land in Glebe, measuring just 4.9 metres wide amongst a row of heritage listed terrace houses.It was one of the last vacant blocks of land in the inner city that had never been built on. For that reason, the City of Sydney Council encouraged a contemporary 21st century design.
From its inception, sustainability was at the forefront of this house's ethos, incorporating the latest in green technology, paired with the utilisation of second hand supplies, and new materials with a low carbon footprint. The house is essentially a two-storey, three bedroom terrace. In contrast to the surrounding stone and timber cottages, it features modern materials such as concrete, aluminium and glass to create a sleek, minimal urban dwelling.
Chris Knierim's passion for sustainable building techniques was honed whilst working overseas on residential and commercial properties in the US and Europe. When designing Forest Lodge ECO House he aimed to show Australian homeowners how they can embrace the best in sustainable design to create a beautiful home to accommodate modern living.
Glass is an important feature of this contemporary home and is a catalyst for creating a spacious, light filled interior on such a narrow and challenging block. High impact horizontal glass folding doors open to the courtyard and a floating staircase with glass railings leads to the bedrooms, bathroom and a rooftop garden upstairs. Opaque glass inserts in all the doors and glass skylights were also added to increase the natural flow of light throughout the home.
Double glazed windows help to naturally heat and cool the home. Other glass features include a minimalistic glass shower screen in the bathroom, sleek glass splash backs in the integrated kitchen, and a suspended glass waterfall table makes a dramatic centrepiece in the rear garden.
One of the finishing touches to this house's eco-friendly performance was the integration of EnduroShield's state-of-the-art nanotechnology surface treatment for the vast array of glass surfaces throughout the home. Chris chose EnduroShield to greatly reduce cleaning time and protect the glass against staining and etching.
Craig Howard, Managing Director of EnduroShield, said he was proud to be involved in this cutting edge sustainable home. "With the inclusion of so many important glass features, EnduroShield was the sustainable product of choice to protect all glass throughout the home," Mr Howard said.
"In a house such as this where minimal design is employed in many of the spaces, clean and clear surfaces becomes even more important. Chris, ever the meticulous builder and designer, did not hesitate to implement an innovative technology to protect his investment."
EnduroShield protects glass surfaces against staining and etching, reducing cleaning time and is perfect for insulated glass units, curtain walls, glass railings, shower glass and solar panels. The coating is applied by many of the world's leading glass companies including the largest glass fabricator in the United States and has recently been applied to the One World Freedom tower in New York.