Passive Design

House Woodlands

A contemporary addition to an existing 1970’s brick homestead on a large parcel of land within Woodlands, NSW. AO created an addition that complemented the existing dwelling but offered the amenities and spaces to suit a modern lifestyle and a growing family.

The Ace Residences

The Ace Residences, located in Bowral, the heart of the Southern Highlands, blends modern comforts with the area's rural charm. This project combines new ideas with classic forms and typologies to offer a unique living experience not previously seen in the area.


A fresh take on the design of over 60’s homes that explores a grouping of contemporary dwellings in a garden setting that offer the space and flexibility for modern living and a sense of community. Each dwelling designed to suit age in place without compromise.

Passive Design: Harnessing Natural Elements for Comfort and Efficiency

Passive design is an architectural approach that takes advantage of the climate and natural elements to maintain a comfortable indoor environment without relying heavily on mechanical heating or cooling systems. It focuses on minimizing energy consumption by using the building's orientation, structure, and materials to control heat gain and loss. Here are some key considerations for designing with passive design principles:

  1. Orientation: Positioning the building to maximize natural light and heat from the sun in colder months while minimizing exposure during hotter periods.
  2. Insulation: Using high-quality insulation materials and techniques to reduce heat transfer, keeping the interior warm in winter and cool in summer.
  3. Thermal Mass: Incorporating materials that absorb and store heat during the day and release it at night to regulate indoor temperatures.
  4. Natural Ventilation: Designing windows, vents, and openings to promote airflow and remove excess heat without the need for air conditioning.
  5. Shading: Implementing shading devices, such as overhangs, louvers, and trees, to block direct sunlight and reduce heat gain.

Passive design is a cost-effective and sustainable approach to architecture that leverages the natural environment to create comfortable, energy-efficient spaces. It not only reduces the building's environmental impact but also enhances the comfort and well-being of its occupants.

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