2016 renovation/addition project
hen builder Mick Corcoran from Benchmark Building Projects and his team took on a timber cottage renovation and addition project, enclosed by national park rainforest on the Gold Coast hinterland, little did they realise the impressive challenges that would unfold. The client brief speciﬁed maintaining the original stonework structure while creating a distinctive holiday home for the owners, which would also serve as storage for the wine-making hobbyists. ‘Keeping the original stone was important to the owners and deﬁnitely provides a unique feel to the home,’ Mick says. However, the original stone, being old and in poor condition was not completely salvageable. Skilled workmanship was required to carefully rework it and then combine it with the new stone that had to be made to look aged. ‘Once we got into the build we [also] realised the footings of the original stone structure weren’t stable,’ Mick says. ‘We had to carry out extensive concrete works to underpin it all to establish a building platform. It would’ve been easier to demolish and rebuild… but it was important to maintain the character of the home, and it’s also environmentally responsible to be able to use resources that otherwise would have been wasted.’ The end result offers a striking focal point to the sustainable two-storey home which won the 2016 HIA GreenSmart Renovation/Addition Project award. Much of the stonework surrounds the downstairs living space – complete with a ﬁreplace, cellar and wine-making area that included custom joinery for the wine barrels – while polished concrete ﬂoors offer a pivotal cooling effect. ‘The home was thoughtfully designed to maximise the block, capturing views and using the cool, humid environment to work for a purpose: cool temperatures downstairs for wine storage, along with comfortable temperatures upstairs for living,’ Mick explains. Benchmark Building Projects consulted with local rangers throughout the build due to the ancient trees and endangered bird species in the area. A close working
This custom-built home surrounded by national park and wildlife epitomises environmentallyconscious building.
story > Laura Valic