Interview: Troy Clark from tenfiftyfive on the Park House.

7th August 2017

This week, we spoke with Troy Clark about the design for the Park House project – a unique, sustainable home brought to life by tenfiftyfive.

Can you tell us a bit about the design brief that you got from the client?

The design brief was to build a robust family home that would be environmentally responsible. There was a strong emphasis placed on the house’s ability to entertain groups as small as the family alone or as large as a good sized party. They wanted the house to be able to open up and close down depending on the number of people using the space.

What are your favourite details in the design?

My favourite details in the design include the exposed timber ceiling, the use of exposed off-form concrete and red brick as a raw material in the home. I also like the box windows with built in futons in the children’s bedrooms and the excellent connection of spaces to the external garden and pool.

Can you tell us about the lighting design and how you came to choose Brightgreen LEDs?

The lighting design consists of one large feature pendant light to the meals space, some small pendants to the children’s box windows and Brightgreen LEDs for the remainder of the general lighting.

The Brightgreen D900 SH Curve lights were the perfect lighting selection for a number of reasons.

The black “can lights” were the perfect fixture to sit amongst the exposed timber beams. They are elegant and compliment the timber beautifully – creating a perfect connection to the exposed painted steel structure and steel framed doors and windows.

We like that all control gear was located inside the lighting fixtures so we didn’t have to worry about concealing it in the ceiling or elsewhere. They were particularly important given there was a concrete slab over the timber ceiling which restricted both space and access.

There is no air conditioning in the house at all. And as a result, there is a lot of insulation needed. So maintaining the integrity of this insulation was very important to the overall performance of the house.

Having under-ceiling, surface-mounted lighting fixtures to the first floor was especially critical to maintaining the integrity of the ceiling insulation above.

Traditional recessed lights would require us to remove the insulation around the lighting fixture – essentially creating a series of large holes in the insulation barrier. By using the surface-mounted D900 SH Curve we were able to avoid this and have no holes in the insulation at all.

The Brightgreen LEDs are very energy efficient while still producing excellent light.

Was sustainability a priority when you were sourcing materials and technologies for the project?

Absolutely. We have used a range of natural and recycled materials. The house has been designed in such a way that there are very few days a year where air conditioning is required – there isn’t much you can do when it is 40 degrees! As a result, no air conditioning has been installed.

There is a massive bank of thermal mass in the house including internal brick walls, concrete floors and concrete walls. As noted previously, a lot of work has gone into the detailing and installation of thermal insulation – so the lighting selection has been a very important part of this system.

Do you have any tips for people who are currently choosing lights for their own projects?

The benefits of using under ceiling mounted lights, particularly under the roof of the house provides massive thermal benefits.

Once you remove insulation to meet the regulations around traditional recessed lights (each light is a 500-600 diameter hole in the insulation), you might as well not have insulation at all as the performance will be so compromised.

I am a big believer that surface-mounted lights are a much better overall solution for both thermal insulation systems and general lighting.

What else is coming up for you this year? Any projects we should keep an eye out for?

We are currently completing another project in Hawthorn which is based on a very similar design although it is presented entirely differently, using a completely different material and colour palette. Then we will be onto the next project!  

Follow Troy’s work with tenfiftyfive on Instagram.

Learn more about how surface-mounted LEDs can drastically reduce heating and cooling costs.

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