On the surface, it’s not an uncommon story, an Architect and Carpenter couple work together to build an amazing space for their home and to showcase their talents. The big difference however is the motivation here. Five motivations in fact – five little reasons that Mickey Wolf and Steve Boyle from SBUILT renovated their family home in Brisbane. The couple’s five children became the very inspiration for the beautiful home they created.
As Boyle explained, “We wanted a family home first and foremost. And it functions really well through our use of sturdy and durable materials.” Wolf and Boyle wanted a space that wasn’t too precious. They selected materials that could cope with the day-to-day rigours of five energetic children. These materials include Ecoply® plywood and Formrite® manufactured by Carter Holt Harvey. Ecoply has been used extensively on the new lower level of the renovation on the entire ceiling and fifty percent of the walls. “It’s durable, forgiving and can handle the bumps. The plywood adds warmth. It feels like a modern interpretation of a traditional Queenslander.”
The desire to showcase ideas in this renovation also prompted Wolf and Boyle to try alternatives to the usual melamine, laminate or two-pack cabinetry. To contrast the plywood walls and ceilings, black-faced Formrite with ply edges was selected. Formrite is usually used for concrete formwork but its durability and smooth protective coating makes it suitable for cabinetry. Boyle crafted floor to ceiling bookshelves and kitchen cabinets with integrated appliances using Formrite and is more than happy with the result. Clients of SBUILT are often invited to the house and they too like what they see.
“Creating spaces that enhance community,” is how Boyle explains the philosophy of SBUILT. Creating comfortable places where people can congregate and share experiences. Sustainability is also a driver in their decision-making. Led by a desire to look out for the next generation, Wolf and Boyle choose materials that will last and have been produced in a sustainable way. They also work to minimise as much waste as possible, repurposing off-cuts and limiting over-ordering.
Ecoply and Formrite are manufactured from sustainably grown Australian and New Zealand plantation pine. Environmental Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is recognised as the preferred cradle-to-grave basis for comparing the environmental impact of products, including building materials. On a limited LCA basis, building in wood sourced from sustainably-managed plantations represents a net removal of carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere for at least the life of the structure. As such, building in wood sourced from sustainably-managed plantations can therefore make a positive contribution to combating climate change. Which is good news for the next generation.
It’s clear that Ecoply and Formrite have found a new fan in Boyle. And with their eye for design, details and the environment, Boyle, Wolf and SBUILT are sure to find plenty of fans in the future.