Sustainable Extensions – Pepper Tree Passive House by Alexander Symes Architect
Connecting to both the surrounding landscape and natural elements, Alexander Symes Architect delivers a sustainable extension for client and builder Souter Built. Exploring the standards of a passive house whilst showcasing sustainable building methods, Pepper Tree Passive House positions itself as a leader in sustainable living.
With a brief to craft a secondary structure, Souter Built enlisted the help of Alexander Symes Architect to create a sustainable extension for the family home. Located in a low-density suburb below Mount Kembla, the personal project was envisioned as a second dwelling and office space, seeing the home wrap around the site’s namesake and showcase the sustainable design ethos of Souter Built.
Hand-poured pavers lead the way up to the secondary entrance. Surrounded by wood and covered by bifacial solar panels that allow the sun to shine through, each step demands attention. From the entrance, guests step into the home office of Souter Built, where northern sunlight drenches the kitchen and lounge room space that can also be converted into a spare bedroom. The space flows seamlessly out onto a patio where the pepper tree stands and allows for a direct connection to nature, seeing the extension hug the protected tree.
Located on a slopping landscape and within a tree protection zone, Alexander Symes of Alexander Symes Architect and Adam Souter of Souter Built carefully considered each process from inception to completion. Two factors were measured throughout construction: how to considerably excavate; the other, what materials could be sustainably used for the extension. Ensuring that the pepper tree was protected throughout the building process, excavation by hand protected both the landscape and adhered to tree protection guidelines, whilst renewable materials such as wood and convict bricks were used for both the interior and exterior of the home.
Promoting a harmonious connection between nature and home, Pepper Tree Passive House emphasises both Alexander Symes Architect and Souter Built‘s passion for sustainability. As a secondary dwelling, the extension encompasses a working space and a showroom for clients, championing sustainable and recycled materials.