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South Arm Home: Winner 2015 HIA Awards Custom Built Home $350K-$600K

MGArchitects Pty Ltd were engaged to design and Merlin Constructions were selected to construct the project. Merlin Constructions were involved from the early stages of the design, working closely with the project architects, providing advice on methodology and cost analyses.

The challenge here was to construct a modestly priced home with architectural features on a site with great 180-degree views but burdened with a BAL 19 Rating, for a young professional couple with children. A bold decision was made by the architects to clad the exterior of the home with ‘Mini Orb’ steel cladding. To add visual contrast, Tas Oak vertical shiplap boards where used in selected recesses and stained almost black. The undercover deck areas where clad in rough sawn ‘Celery Top Pine’ over 6mm cement sheet and left unsealed. The ‘Celery Top Pine’ was delivered to site four months before having to be used and spread out in the paddock to weather, as the requirement by the architect was for a natural grey weathered look. This has been achieved with great success.

As anyone having worked with ‘Mini Orb’ knows that it is extremely difficult material to install, we have achieved an excellent result, both in visual appearance and detail.


  • 6.6 Star Energy Rating
  • Natural Gas powered Hydronic in-slab heating to the polished concrete floors, with Additional Hydronic Radiators
  • Innovative sashless, double glazed, argon filled, double hung windows
  • Expansive double glazed, argon filled glazing, taking advantage of the passive solar gain during the winter months whilst shaded by the bespoke eaves structure during the summer months
  • Highly detailed joinery throughout with generous storage space
  • Tas Oak flooring, secret nailed to the bedroom wings, stained almost black
  • A wood heater set in a precast concrete wall is a feature in the living space, as is the entertainment area joinery with the ‘Gabion’ wall in the background hiding from view the clothes line and the Hydronic boiler


Winner - 2015 HIA Tasmania Custom Built Home $350K-$600K


Architect: MGArchitects
Photography: Peter Mathews

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