The ALVA House is a modular timber framed structure that was recently constructed as part of the UWA Future Farm Project in Pingelly.
Originally located within the Homebase showroom in Wembley as a series of display modules without a roof structure, the house was originally conceived by Paul Odden of Optimum Resource Architects for the Forest Products Commission. The house demonstrates a number of advantages to be gained in the adaptability, environmental suitability and economy of a factory-produced timber framed residence.
Having been in storage as incomplete modules for a number of years, The Advanced Timber Concepts Research Centre of UWA (ATC) collaborated closely with Paul Odden to adapt the house to its new location in Pingelly.
The 1,600 hectare UWA Future Farm Project seeks to provide a working, sustainable model of best practice for agriculture and key to this is the architecture of its new buildings. The house is sited, north facing amidst the backdrop of a picturesque rocky outcrop that lies on the opposite end of the current working buildings on the farm. This is part of a long term strategy that will eventually combine a new centrally located sheep shearing/laboratory facility being developed by the ATC and the School of Animal Biology.
Combined with high quality fixtures and fittings, the house also features a number of exciting innovations. These include one of the first local applications of the latest Colorbond Thermatech roof sheeting technology, sponsored by Bluescope Steel, telescopic based steel stumping and a Philips-Dynalite automated electrical wiring system sponsored by Philips-Dynalite and Light Application (Balcatta). Philips has also provided the house with its latest generation of low energy LED lighting and the exterior fibre cement wall cladding has been sponsored by BGC.
Partnerships such as these could not have been possible without the assistance of the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering and in particular Associate Professor Jasmine Henry. Together with a number of honours students, Jasmine has worked with the ATC to examine the potentials of sustainable energy systems for the house.
"The response to the house overall has been very positive and it has been a pleasure having the contractors, which have all put in so much hard work into the house, so excited and interested in its architecture" said Domenic Trimboli, research assistant at ATC.
An ‘off-grid' solar energy system is currently being developed for the house, which once complete will be used to accommodate a full time Farm Manager.
Domenic Trimboli (Research Assistant, Advanced Timber Concepts Research Centre) (+61 8) 6488 2482
Laura Radovan (Communications Officer, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts) (+61 8) 6488 1859