New project from Cox Architects designed to withstand heavy bush fires
Xanthorrhoea ‘1' ® is the name of a research project undertaken and funded by Cox Architects ® to examine and develop primarily new construction systems suitable for building in bush fire prone areas. This project culminated in the construction of a full size prototype house, as per the attached details.
The building is designed for the most hazardous category of bush fire attack, but the construction systems developed and patented also set out to achieve improvements in overcoming the broader effects of global warming. To do that, the building needed to be highly resistant to fire, cyclones, white ant attack, wet rot, floods, as well as being highly insulated against heat and cold. The building has been independently tested and achieved or exceeded the highest ratings of bush fire resistance, in addition to being found to be highly resistant to the other design factors above referred.
Apart from the constructional briefing targets, the design also needed to demonstrate that the finished building could be livable and enhance the enjoyment of the natural beauty of living in the Australian bush. The design achieves this. Although the house is not luxurious, there is a unique luxury achieved by being situated within a natural bush environment. The house is solar powered with independent services as required in a remote bushland setting.
By ‘raising the bar' in regards the quality and performance of our buildings, they will last longer, require far less maintenance, and provide better shelter against the increasingly unpredictable effects of climate change. In so doing, this saves on the wasteful use of energy and materials required to maintain and rebuild our houses which use current construction techniques. Xanthorrhoea 1 tries to lead the way towards constructing buildings which will be assets in the future, not liabilities.