Introducing PassivLaneway. This compact granny flat sits atop an elegant garage on a discreet laneway on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

The floating home calls for a simple aesthetic, blank side walls are clad in dark standing seam to match the roof while the more visible long elevations are a blackbutt cladding treated to age over time.

The garage below is made from a split face concrete block, both beautiful and practical at the same time. The contrast between the simplicity and heaviness of the base and the floating top works well. This building will definitely settle well into its new home over the first few years.

The industrial checkerplate staircase provides for a dramatic entry with sky views before arriving on the shielded entry deck.

The home is third certified passivhaus in Sydney. The timber/aluminium windows and door with their double glazing are part of a well insulated airtight building envelope. The heat recovery ventilation system ensures fresh air 24/7 although the doors can often be found open a gorgeous autumn day.

Extensive use of timber is both a more sustainable option and comforting in the compact space. The treetop views afforded by the elevated position give this granny flat a sense of space that belies its true size.

Thanks to the Building Designers and Architects at Envirotecture. Find out more about PassivLaneway on the Envirotecture website. Click on the thumbnail images below to see full size photographs:


Building services

Building physics

Grun Consulting

Craftsperson / parties involved
Dave Selby, IMAC Developments

Exterior wall
Timber frame as service cavity, OSB, Wraptite SA, 50mm PIR, battens & cladding
U-value = 0.365 W/(m2K)

Basement floor / floor slab
Suspended timber floor (insulated), OSB, hardwood flooring
U-value = 0.355 W/(m2K)

Metal deck roofing, battens, Proctor HTS wrap, 150mm timber structure with polyester batts, 50mm PIR, battens, plasterboard
U-value = 0.182 W/(m2K)

Logikhaus, Aluclad timber 68mm
Average Uw 1.57
U w-value = 1.57 W/(m2K)

U g-value = 1.14 W/(m2K)
g -value = 64 %